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1954 Feb 23
The first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh. Jonas Salk created the Salk vaccine against polio. It used a killed virus to induce immunization. Poliomyelitis is a viral attack of the central nervous system and can cause paralysis and death by asphyxiation. [see Apr 26] In 2005 David M. Oshinsky authored “Polio: An American Story – The Crusade That Mobilized the Nation Against the 20th Century’s Most Feared Disease.”
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Medical, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1954
Thomas Weller (1915-2008), John Enders (1897-1985) and Frederick Robbins (1916-2003) won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue.
Links: USA, Nobel Prize, Medical, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1955 Apr 12
The Salk Vaccine was declared safe and effective. Salk vaccine shots for polio began to be given out to school kids. The March of Dimes accomplished its mission within 20 years. Research led by Dr. Jonas Salk, of the Univ. of Pittsburgh, and supported by funds (those marching little dimes) raised annually by thousands of volunteers, resulted in the announcement that the Salk polio vaccine was "safe, potent and effective." The foundation also supported the research that led to the Sabin oral vaccine, another safe, effective polio preventative discovered by Dr. Albert B. Sabin. Following the victory over infantile paralysis, the March of Dimes turned its attention to conquering the largest killer and crippler of children: the mental and physical problems that are present at birth. Some 100 million people were given the vaccine during the 1950s and 1960s which was later found to be contaminated with the SV40 simian virus, a possible carcinogen.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Medical, Pharma, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1957
Dr. Hilary Koprowski of the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia developed an oral polio vaccine and tested it in Africa (Congo). The Wister polio vaccine was given to some 300,000 people in the Belgian Congo from 1957-1960. A later theory held that reuse of needles during the immunization program caused AIDS via “serial passage” that transformed the SIV virus into HIV. In 1999 Edward Hooper authored “The River,” a detailed hypothesis for the origin of AIDS in Africa. Hooper suspected that the Wister polio vaccine, produced from monkey kidney cells, contained SIV virus. In 2000 a computerized study indicated that the AIDS virus was introduced to humans about 1930.
Links: USA, Microbiology, Pennsylvania, Medical, AIDS, CongoDRC, Polio, Primates     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1962
America’s health authorities chose to use Albert Sabin’s oral polio vaccine. They reverted to Salk’s vaccine in 1999 on safety grounds because Sabin’s vaccine caused paralysis in some cases.
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1967
In Marburg, Germany, a disease believed to be caused from African monkeys infected 31 people in a laboratory. The virus came to be called the Marburg virus. Seven people died in Germany and Yugoslavia from the virus. It was traced to infected vervet monkeys from Uganda cut up for polio research.
Links: Germany, Microbiology, Yugoslavia, Polio, Primates     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1979
The US eliminated polio within its borders. Most of the world's cases were in India.
Links: USA, India, Microbiology, Medical, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1985
Rotary Int’l., a businessman’s club and global charity, following a successful pilot study in the Philippines announced a plan to eradicate polio by vaccinating every child under five at risk of catching it.
Links: USA, Philippines, Microbiology, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1993 Mar 3
Albert Sabin (86), physician, developer of the oral polio vaccine, died in Washington.
Links: USA, Microbiology, Medical, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1995 Jun 23
Dr. Jonas Salk (b.1914), the medical pioneer who developed the first vaccine to halt the crippling rampage of polio, died in La Jolla, California, at age 80. In 2015 Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs authored “Jonas Salk: A Life.”
Links: USA, California, Microbiology, Medical, Polio, Biography     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1995 Dec
India began a broad-based vaccination program against polio.
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1997 Nov
1997 Dec
In Ethiopia health workers under int’l. financing worked to vaccinate every child under 5 against polio.
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1999 May 5
The World Health Organization (WHO) planned a mass vaccination program in Angola following a polio outbreak that killed nearly 50 children and left 700 paralyzed.
Links: Angola, Polio, WHO     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1999 Aug 11
In Congo warring sides agreed to stop fighting until Aug 20 to allow the UN to vaccinate 10 million children against polio.
Links: UN, CongoDRC, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2000 May 1
2000 May 5
In Afghanistan fighting was halted to allow UN workers to immunize some 4.5 million children under age 5 against polio.
Links: UN, Polio, Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2000 Dec 4
It was reported that a mutated oral polio vaccine infected at least 3 people in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. That standard vaccine appeared to work against the mutated strain.
Links: Haiti, Polio, Dominican Rep.     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Jul 11
US scientists financed by the Pentagon announced that they had synthesized a virus from scratch for the 1st time. They built a polio virus relying only on genetic sequence information publicly available.
Links: BioTech, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Feb 23
The UN Children's Fund and Iraqi health teams began a five-day campaign to vaccinate 4 million Iraqi children against polio.
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2003 Oct 24
Nigerian health workers began an emergency drive to immunize some 15 million children against polio. Some 192 cases were currently active.
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2004 Feb 22
An Islamic state in Nigeria that is at the heart of a spreading Africa polio outbreak declared it would not relent on its boycott of a mass vaccination program which it called a U.S. plot to spread AIDS and infertility among Muslims.
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2004 Feb 23
The World Health Organization launched a massive immunization campaign targeting 63 million children in 10 African countries as a polio outbreak spread from heavily Muslim northern Nigeria.
Links: Africa, Nigeria, Polio, WHO     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 May 27
The Nigerian state of Kano abandoned its moratorium on polio vaccinations.
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2005 Feb 10
Saudi Arabia confirmed a 2nd case of polio from 2004 and feared pilgrims to Mecca might spread the disease.
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2005 Apr 21
Health officials said a polio outbreak in Yemen may be due to pilgrims returning from Mecca.
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2005 Apr 29
The UN health agency reported 18 new cases of polio in Yemen and said more people are believed infected, sparking fears of an epidemic in the Middle Eastern country with a low immunization rate among children.
Links: UN, Yemen, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2005 May 3
The WHO said Indonesia has detected its first case of polio in a decade, prompting the government to launch a massive vaccination campaign that is expected to inoculate more than 5 million children.
Links: Indonesia, UN, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 May 17
The UN WHO health agency said confirmed polio cases reached 83 in Yemen. The country was believed to have been free of the disease until last month.
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2005 May 30
Indonesia's first polio outbreak in a decade widened with two new cases reported, as the government kicked off a massive eradication campaign that aims to vaccinate 6.4 million children in one day.
Links: Indonesia, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Jul 2
A case of polio in Angola was reported by the UN’s WHO.
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2005 Aug 8
Health officials in Indonesia reported 205 children with polio.
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2006 Mar 17
Bangladesh confirmed the country's first case of polio in nearly six years, prompting plans to resume mass vaccinations against the crippling disease next month.
Links: Bangladesh, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Apr 15
Bangladesh said it will vaccinate about 18 million children aged 5 and under to combat polio, which recently re-emerged after authorities believed it had been eradicated five years ago.
Links: Bangladesh, Microbiology, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Jun 10
It was reported that a recent outbreak of polio in Namibia had killed 7 people and paralyzed another 33.
Links: Microbiology, Polio, Namibia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Aug 12
Afghanistan's Health Ministry said the worsening security situation contributed to a fourfold rise in polio cases this year, almost entirely in the insurgency-wracked south. A highway police commander was killed by a blast on his way to work in eastern Lagman province.
Links: Polio, Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Aug 20
In Afghanistan militants ambushed a police patrol in western Farah province, sparking a gunbattle that left one officer and 2 attackers dead. In Helmand province a clash with insurgents left one British soldier dead and three others wounded. A NATO airstrike killed nine militants including a local insurgent leader in Helmand province. A roadside bomb killed three Afghan policemen traveling on the main highway linking Murja and Lashkar Gah districts. Two roadside bombs targeting border police in southeastern Khost province killed two officers and wounded five others. Tens of thousands of health workers fanned out across Afghanistan in a polio vaccination campaign to immunize more than 7 million children under age 5.
Links: Britain, NATO, Polio, Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2006 Oct 17
Kenya reported its first case of polio in 22 years at a refugee camp near the Somali border as the United Nations appealed for urgent help to cope with a surge in refugees from Somalia.
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2006 Oct 31
In eastern Afghanistan a roadside bomb killed 3 NATO soldiers. A suicide bombing in southern Ghazni province's Taliban-dominated Ander district killed one policeman. Polio cases were reported to be on the rise along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Links: Pakistan, NATO, Suicide, Polio, Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Nov 25
Health workers began a drive across Bangladesh to immunize 24 million children under five against polio to combat the crippling virus that has staged a comeback in the South Asian nation.
Links: Bangladesh, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Feb 16
Abdul Ghani, a Pakistani health official in charge of a campaign to inoculate children against polio, was killed in a bomb blast following rumors the vaccination was a US plot to sterilize them. Police in southern Pakistan announced they had arrested five suspected militants from the southern city of Karachi and Rawalpindi, a garrison city near Islamabad, and that the suspects were planning suicide attacks on foreigners and minority Shiite Muslims. Police also arrested three Islamic militants who were planning suicide attacks to take place at forthcoming Shiite Muslim gatherings in Sindh province.
Links: Pakistan, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 May 12
In Nigeria Lora Kabir, a Russian woman, set off with 50 volunteers on a 225-kilometer (140-mile) walk from polio-endemic Nigeria's most populous city Kano to raise public awareness among parents of the dangers of polio.
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Timelines
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2007 Sep 19
The US-led coalition accused the Taliban of using children as human shields during a battle in southern Afghanistan. The troops fought Taliban trying to flee a compound, and more than a dozen suspected militants were killed. 6 civilians, including women and children, died in Helmand province's Gereshk region after Taliban fighters fled fighting with NATO forces and sought shelter in the civilian homes. About 2,500 Afghan and NATO troops launched a new military operation in the Gereshk region of Helmand province. Militants attacked a private security company in Zabul province, killing one security guard. The ensuing gunbattle left one suspected insurgent dead. More than three dozen Taliban fighters were reported killed in Uruzgan province. In Kandahar province, an Afghan was killed and several others were wounded in a road accident involving a NATO patrol vehicle and a civilian car. NATO said it was investigating a shipment of weapons intercepted near the border with Iran on Sep 6. Some 10,000 vaccinators began the weeklong campaign with the aim to vaccinate 1.3 million Afghan children against polio.
Links: USA, NATO, Polio, Afghan, Kids     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Oct 11
A World Health Organization official said 69 children in northern Nigeria contracted polio following vaccination against the disease. Peter Eriki indicated that around 10 percent of the Nigerian population has dodged the vaccination campaign. The new outbreak was caused by the mutation of a vaccine's virus.
Links: Microbiology, Nigeria, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Nov 26
Rotary International and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $200 million donation for the global campaign to wipe out polio.
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2008 Mar 24
The WHO said polio transmission has been stopped in Somalia.
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2009 Feb 25
Kenya announced its first polio infection in 20 years, after a 4-year-old girl was diagnosed with the disease along the country's remote border with Sudan.
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2009 Feb 27
The UN Children's Fund said 53 million children are being targeted by a mass immunization drive against polio in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo. Some 844 polio cases were reported in the 8 countries in 2008, 95% of them in Nigeria.
Links: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Togo, UN, Nigeria, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2009 Apr 8
The international Red Cross said a polio outbreak, that now affects 15 African countries, threatens efforts to eradicate the disease.
Links: Africa, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2009 Aug 14
In Nigeria the number of polio cases caused by the vaccine was reported to have doubled so far this year with 124 children paralyzed, compared to 62 in 2008, out of about 42 million children vaccinated. For every case of paralysis, hundreds of other children don't develop symptoms, but pass on the disease.
Links: Microbiology, Nigeria, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2009 Dec 14
The World Health Organization (WHO) said polio has re-emerged in several African countries where it had been eradicated, at the start of a conference on child immunization in Zimbabwe.
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2009
In Kinshasa, Congo, the music group Staff Benda Bilili, all victims of polio, released their first album entitled “Tres, Tres Fort.”
Links: CongoDRC, Pop&Rock, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2010 Nov 9
The WHO said a polio outbreak in the Congo Republic affected 201 people and caused 104 deaths in the last two weeks. The government in Brazzaville has declared an emergency and announced plans to vaccinate the entire population.
Links: Microbiology, Polio, Congo Rep.     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2010 Dec 10
UNICEF said a polio outbreak in CongoDRC has caused over 200 deaths. Most of those affected were young men between the ages of 15 and 24.
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2011 Sep 20
The World Health Organization warned countries that a dangerous strain of polio, WPV1, has spread to China from Pakistan.
Links: China, Pakistan, Microbiology, Polio, WHO     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2011 Oct
Pakistan reported its 115th case of polio. The current annual global number was down to about 1000.
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2012 Jan 17
Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged the Taliban to allow teams conducting a polio vaccination campaign to reach areas under the insurgents' control. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the last three nations where polio remains endemic.
Links: Polio, Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2012 Jan 17
Rotary Int’l. announced it had raised another $200 million to eradicate polio. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will contribute a further $504 million. One of three active strains was eliminated in 1999.
Links: USA, Microbiology, Medical, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2012 Feb 25
India was taken off a list of polio endemic countries by the World Health Organization, marking a massive victory for health workers battling the crippling disease.
Links: India, Polio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2012 Jun 16
Pakistani militants in North Waziristan banned anti-polio vaccination teams, to protest US drone strikes saying the attacks were killing civilians.
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2012 Jul 16
Pakistan began a widely publicized 3-day polio vaccination campaign.
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2012 Dec 1
In southern Afghanistan a suicide car bomber killed three civilians and wounded another six in Uruzgan province. In Kapisa province Hanisa (22), a female vaccine worker, was shot to death by 3 men on a motorcycle on her first day of work to vaccinate children against polio.
Links: Murder, Polio, Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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