**See bottom of description for updated info
The Polio Epidemic wreaked havoc on America from 1916 until 1955, when a vaccine finally came out. In an era of advancing technology and increased understandings of health, this epidemic seemed to have come out of nowhere–and still today, no one is certain how it was being spread–striking innocent children, leaving them not dead, but crippled for life, a cruel reminder of the Polio attack. Then as suddenly as it had started, the disease receded for the winter months…and came back when summer rolled over. A survey showed, during the dark years of the epidemic, the only thing feared more than Polio, was a nuclear winter.
**0:40 the video states that 10-15% of polio patients became paralyzed. Correction: The majority of people who contracted polio did not experience symptoms and of those who did, symptoms were frequently mild and passed after a few days. On average, less than 1% of polio patients became paralyzed but because so many people were infected during the epidemics, the cases added up and around 15,000 people (of a population much smaller than the current US population) were paralyzed every year. Of those who were paralyzed, a small percentage died, but for many at the time, paralysis seemed as bad as or worse than death.