Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Recalling polio

I came across these old newspaper articles about past polio outbreaks in Mississippi.  They were published in the 1930's.  They give a better idea of what Mississippians faced before vaccines were available.


Anonymous said...

Polio was devastating. We did not know of viruses and were not sure where it was coming from. Many thought the water so the swimming pools were closed. No one had birthday parties during outbreaks. Throughout the 1940's it would be running in different towns and the fear was very real. People I knew were sent to Mercy Hospital in Vicksburg where they cared for polio patients. Most died. I believe it was 1954 that I was one of the first in my group to get the live Salk vaccine. Many were afraid of it. It was not until the mid-sixties that Sabin's drops became available. We went to McWillie School on three Sundays to receive the drops on our tongue three different Sundays. There was a huge campaign in Jackson (and probably everywhere) called SOS, which stood for Sabin Oral Sundays. Being relieved of the fear of polio with my children was a wonderful freedom for parents and children alike. Next came chicken pox freedom and then measles. Typhoid freedom preceded polio. We can only imagin what it was like 150 years ago but today so many of these dreaded childhood diseases are gone from our care. Not only children died with polio, I seem to remember a young doctor also dying. Remembering these times give me gratitude for our scientist who have improved the world.

Fred said...

Read this interesting bit the other day:

Polio seemed to come out of nowhere in the late 19th century. But it was really the result of IMPROVED hygiene! The polio virus has always been around but in earlier times babies were routinely exposed, as infants, to contaminated water but were so young that they still had their mother's immunity protecting them. With improved water sanitation in the late 19th century babies no longer had early exposure and when later confronted with the virus they were unprotected and subject to infection. The law of unintended consequences at work.

Anonymous said...

What a terrible disease. My 10 year old brother contracted it in Birmingham while on a family trip. We lived in south Mississippi, 120 miles from Vicksburg. He was admitted to the hospital in Vicksburg and remained in an iron lung for a year while the we other three kids returned home to live. We didn't have enough $ to hire help so my parents could only visit twice a month for a day. He wasn't crippled but did suffer from limb weakness and an inability to breathe normally for the rest of his life. He was definitely mentally scarred from his sense of abandonment of his family but there was nothing we could do.

Anonymous said...

"Not only children died with polio, I seem to remember a young doctor also dying. "

I'm pretty sure Dr. Guyton, the most famous physician Mississippi ever produced, was stricken with polio while a resident at Massachusetts General Hospital and had to give up his planned career in surgery. He turned to physiology research instead and wrote the most widely used medical school textbook in history.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of Rotary International, a Worldwide Service Organization, which has taken on the eradication of Polio throughout the world for the last 20 years. This incredible endeavor along with the help of the U. N. has kept Polio isolated in pockets of India and Africa. Work continues to eradicate Polio in those pockets. Yes, occasionally there's a mention of an outbreak but Rotary International is quick to respond. Think of all the manpower, money, etc. being spent to make our world a better place and this is all because of the dedication of more than 1.3 million Rotarians Worldwide!

Anonymous said...

You read stories like this, and it just makes it even more perplexing how people are refusing to vaccinations these days. Just crazy. We eradicated smallpox -- polio is a pretty close second. Measles was on its way until people believed that discredited story that the measles vaccination and autism are linked.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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