Library Collections: Document: Full Text

Are You Polio Conscious?

Creator: William H. Woodin (author)
Date: July 1931
Publication: The Polio Chronicle
Source: Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation Archives

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By William H. Woodin President, American Car & Foundry Company. Trustee of the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation and Chairman of its Finance Committee.


POLIOMYELITIS, known to the layman as infantile paralysis, is one of the most expensive diseases in the world both individually and nationally.


To be very, very conservative, infantile paralysis costs this country each year in impaired individual earning and buying power some three hundred million dollars.


WORSE than this, the loss is increasing because the number of cases is increasing.


FURTHERMORE, this costly sum of three hundred million dollars represents only the loss of income -- it does not represent the millions of dollars of annual outgo which afflicted people must pay in the fight for recovery.


The combination of the loss of income and the cost of outgo represents a severe drain on the family and national purse.


IF you are not polio conscious, you should be polio conscious - just as you are cancer conscious and tuberculosis conscious.


Just as you are willing to contribute time and money toward possible eradication and alleviation of THESE ills, surely you must be willing to contribute equally to the cause of polio.


STRANGE to say, poliomyelitis is almost unknown to the majority of people. It is prevalent at all times and can reach epidemic form in the community, state or nation at any time. And yet most people regard polio as something entirely foreign to themselves. In simple words, its personal significance is as detached from their minds as the consequences of an earthquake in Japan or a volcanic eruption in Italy.


INFANTILE paralysis is a communicable disease during its acute stage. Only last year severe epidemics occurred in several sections of the country and forced Wesleyan University to close for a period.


Since 1915 this country has experienced at least three severe national outbreaks.


WHILE accurate health statistics are not available for every state, it is thought that some quarter of a million people in the United States who are living today have been partially or totally incapacitated by this devastating form of paralysis.


Infantile paralysis is not a respector of persons. It affects rich and poor alike. It affects people of all ages and of both sexes. It is not confined to children. It strikes individuals almost overnight -- people who are often in the best of health.


THE effort to provide and operate special medical centers such is the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation is certainly a worthwhile cause.