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Eradication of polio is now within our grasp; Letters

THIS month marks the 60th anniversary of Jonas Salk's polio vaccine being declared both safe and effective, following what was one of the largest clinical trials in history.

I am all too aware of how important that vaccine was to a generation living in fear of the deadly disease, and with Europe having no new cases of the disease since the 1990s, it is something that is often taken for granted.

Despite this, we are still not in a position to say the UK is "Polio free" as there are about 120,000 people still living with the late effects of polio and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), that are going largely unnoticed.

PPS is a potentially debilitating neurological disorder that surfaces amongst polio survivors later in life. Symptoms include a reduction in stamina, shortness of breath, reduced mobility and a greater sensitivity to the cold and it affects a similar amount of people to Parkinson's, yet benefits from only a fraction of the public knowledge.

Although Jonas Salk's vaccine saved millions of lives and saw polio diminish to a point where eradication is now within the world's grasp, let us not forget those who are still living with polio's PPS legacy.

To find out more visit Ted Hill, Chief executive, The British Polio Fellowship.

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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Apr 23, 2015
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