Polio (Biographies of Disease) (Hardcover)
A compelling account of the most feared childhood disease of the 20th century and its impact on victims and medical science.This new title in the Biographies of Disease series offers a thorough examination of medical and scientific efforts to battle polio, from the 19th-century identification of the virus to the great 20th-century epidemics, from the unprecedented campaign to find a vaccine to recent efforts to confront polio in West Africa and South Asia and eliminate it entirely. Beyond the science, Polio looks at the effects of the disease on individuals and the United States as a whole. The book gives readers a sense of what it was like to have polio and to recover from it. It also describes how the search for answers to polio led to the rise of one of America's premier medical charities--the March of Dimes--and how modern physical therapy practices emerged alongside the polio epidemics of the 20th century.
Daniel J. Wilson, PhD, is professor of history at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.