Dr Jonas Salk (1914 - 1995)
Thanks to the discovery of the polio vaccine by Dr Jonas Salk, 99 percent of the world today is declared polio free, and among them India too. On 27, March 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared India a polio free country.
Poliomyelitis often called polio or infantile paralysis is an infectious disease caused by poliovirus, and it mainly affects children under 5 years of age. Poliovirus spreads primarily through the fecal-oral route, especially in areas where sanitation is inadequate. There is no known cure for polio.
Dr Jonas Salk: The Early Years:
Then, Dr Salk worked at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital from 1940 to 1942. Later, he went to the University of Michigan, to work with Dr Francis where he helped him to develop an influenza (flu) vaccine. In 1944, he was appointed as the research associate in epidemiology, and in 1946 he became the assistant professor.
The Turning point in his life:
The turning point in his career came, when in 1947, he joined the University Of Pittsburg Medical School. While working there, with the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, Dr Salk saw an opportunity to develop a vaccine against polio, which had become a much feared epidemic disease in post-war America. He then devoted himself to this work for the next eight years.