Sep 17, 2013

Indianapolis, Lilly Played Key Role in Ending U.S. Polio Epidemics

Guest contributor- Olivia DePaulis
You Are There 1955: Ending Polio will be open at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in Indianapolis until Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013.  Mention you read this HistoricIndianapolis.comarticle at the Welcome Center and receive free admission through Saturday, September 14, 2013. For more information about Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana Experience, call (317) 232-1882 or visit
During the 20th century, polio was considered one of the most frightening public health problems in the United States.  Annual epidemics became increasingly more devastating, paralyzing and killing thousands of children every year.  During this time, many efforts were focused on combating the epidemic, but there was little success until Dr. Jonas Salk discovered a vaccine that showed promise toward preventing polio in exposed patients.
Polio Vaccine
In 1954, The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP) embarked on a massive effort to pay for the cost of testing and producing Salk’s vaccine at one Canadian and five U.S. pharmaceutical companies. Eli Lilly and Company was one of those that began mass production of Salk’s vaccine in anticipation of the trials and their successful results.The clinical trial itself was a major undertaking, involving more than one million children.  Eight Indiana counties with the highest outbreak rates were involved, including Allen, Delaware, Elkhart, Howard, St. Joseph, Tippecanoe and Vanderburgh.  The massive effort involved Americans at all levels of society from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a polio patient himself and founder of NFIP, to the many employees at Eli Lilly and Company who were working furiously to rush the lifesaving vaccine to the public.The Indiana Historical Society invites guests to step into this crucial moment in history in the Indiana Experience exhibit, “You Are There 1955: Ending Polio.”  Visitors get to become part of the action as Eli Lilly and Co. employees work to pack vials of Salk’s polio vaccine that will be eventually be shipped to devastated communities nationwide.  Visitors have a chance to interact with assembly line workers and learn how this Indianapolis company helped stem the tide of the polio epidemic in America.
The exhibit is based on a photograph (above) taken on March 16, 1955, in Building 314 on the Eli Lilly and Co. campus, which shows workers packing vials of the vaccine and preparing them for shipment to the anxiously awaiting public.  Two of the women pictured in the photograph, Janie Berry and Dorothy Redden, played a major part in making the exhibit come to life by sharing their experiences with IHS researchers.For these two former Lilly employees, a moment that now stands as a major historical turning point, was just a job, and one that they did each day for years in decade-spanning careers working at “Lilly’s.”  “We just knew it had to get it out, that it was a priority,” said Berry. Having Janie Berry and Dorothy Redden as resources for the creation of the exhibit allows visitors to experience this major medical breakthrough through the eyes of two employees who were actually there.This article and a small portion of this website is sponsored by the Indiana Historical SocietyPost Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

Sep 16, 2013

Hepatitis B vaccine instead of Polio drops: Mamata orders probe

“The chief minister has ordered an inquiry into the incident,” state’s director of health services B Satpathy told PTI here.
Mr. Satpathy said that an apparent negligence was detected in the matter which led to the suspension of four health workers, but the wrong administration of Hepatitis B vaccine had no adverse impact on the children who were discharged from Arambagh sub-divisional hospital today.
While a Hooghly report quoting official sources said that 114 children were admitted to the hospital, Satpathy said that 67 kids were rushed to hospital after it was detected they were given Hepatitis B vaccine instead of pulse polio drops at the camp by mistake.Mr. Satpathy said that 14 other children were later taken to the hospital as their parents became panicky after hearing that many kids were given “wrong drops“.He said that the suspended persons included a supervisor who reached the camp late and he was in charge of distribution.
Admitting that the incident had created panic among the villagers, Satpathy said a team of health department personnel, including doctors, was sent to the houses of the affected children “and all of them were found to be in good condition“.He said that Hepatitis B vaccine is injectable, “but it has no adverse effect on health when administered orally“.Mr. Satpathy described the incident as “unfortunate and unwarranted“.On Sunday was a pulse polio day, so parents had taken their children to the polio booth at the Khatul village under Arambagh sub-divison, the sources said.They said that the wrong administration was detected by one of the parents who immediately informed the matter to the health workers and the villagers, but by then most of the children had already been given the Hepatitis B vaccine orally.Angry villagers then locked up the health workers and the local Block Development Officer (BDO) and the Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) Arambagh who rushed to the spot to pacify them.Hooghly District Magistrate Manmeet Nanda said two others, including an anganwadi worker, were suspended. Fuente
Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

Sep 15, 2013

Therapeutic exercise for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or motor neuron disease

Dal Bello-Haas V, Florence JM
Published Online:
May 31, 2013

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Muscle weakness is very common in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is also known as motor neuron disease (MND). A weak muscle can be damaged if overworked because it is already functioning close to its maximal limits. Because of this, some experts have discouraged exercise programs for people with ALS. However, if a person with ALS is not active, deconditioning (loss of muscle performance) and weakness from lack of use occurs, on top of the deconditioning and weakness caused by the disease itself. If the reduced level of activity persists, many organ systems can be affected and a person with ALS can develop further deconditioning and muscle weakness, and muscle and joint tightness may occur leading to contractures (abnormal distortion and shortening of muscles) and pain. These all make daily activities harder to do. This review found only two randomised studies of exercise in people with ALS. The trials compared an exercise program with usual care (stretching exercises). Combining the results from the two trials (43 participants), exercise produced a greater average improvement in function (measured using an ALS-specific measurement scale) than usual care. There were no other differences between the two groups. There were no reported adverse events due to exercise. The studies were too small to determine to what extent exercise for people with ALS is beneficial or whether exercise is harmful. We found no new trials when we updated the searches in 2012. More research is needed.
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Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

Sep 11, 2013

Post-Polio Syndrome as Devastating as Real Thing

Polio itself is not the only disease to be aware of.

To the Editor:
For many Americans, "Polio" is a word with relatively little meaning.
They might recognize it as a disease. They might associate it with developing countries. They might even recall that America's 32nd President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, lived much of his life in a wheelchair because of it.
But that's all. They know very little else. No real understanding of its causes or effects. No real sense of its history or current prevalence. And most significantly,
no real awareness that polio is still very much with us—here in the United States and here in New Jersey.
At present, there are an estimated 775,000 polio survivors in the United States, including an estimated 30,000 in New Jersey alone. Most contracted the highly-infectious disease when they were young children, and most contracted it decades ago, before the widespread polio vaccination program started in the late 1950s. Since then, new cases of polio in the U.S. have been extremely rare.
Needless to say, that is comforting to the hundreds of millions of Americans, who have been spared this sometimes merciless disease. But it is little consolation for the hundreds of thousands of survivors and their families whose lives have been dramatically impacted by its debilitating effects.
The increasing muscle weakness. The aches and pains. The breathing problems. There is no cure. There is no magical medicine to be taken, no magical procedure to have done. Once contracted, polio stays with you for life.
Most survivors know this and have learned to live with it and overcome it. But for many of those with post-polio syndrome [PPS], this life sentence may come as a very unwelcome surprise.
Although relatively unknown, PPS is fairly common among Polio survivors. As many as 55 percent could experience it. That is an estimated 440,000 in the United States, including 16,500 in New Jersey alone.
Simply stated, PPS is a set of often devastating symptoms that sometimes strikes survivors 15 to 40 years after the onset of the disease. It is a new condition, characterized by muscle weakness, breathing and swallowing difficulties, often overwhelming fatigue, cold intolerance, sleep disturbance and pain, especially in muscles and joints.
Too often, those with PPS symptoms think they are merely experiencing the effects of old age. And too often, their doctors misdiagnose their condition.
It is therefore essential that polio survivors become familiar with PPS and become aware of the physical limitations caused by it. We need to understand it. We need to accept it. And to the extent possible, we need to overcome it. To
that end, those who may have PPS need to know that support exists. The Polio Network of New Jersey is entering its 22nd year of offering insight into PPS as well as provide people with the physical, emotional and psychological support
they may need. In New Jersey, there are eight such groups under the umbrella of the Polio Network of New Jersey [PNNJ].
It is also absolutely essential that healthcare professionals become more aware of the symptoms and more aware of the implications of this condition. Although no PPS-specific remedies exist, misdiagnosis—or no diagnosis—can further
jeopardize a person's health.
President of the Polio Network of New Jersey Veliko "Lee” BekirHillsborough
Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

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Postpoliolitaff.- Asociación Post Polio Litaff A.C Primera Organización oficial sobre Síndrome de Post Poliomielitis En México.

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