Features Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | October 28, 2014 | 10.42 am IST Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next, Dr. Jonas Salk who developed the first inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in 1952 once said. As Google doodle celebrates the 100th birth anniversary of this researcher and virologist who saved millions of children around the world, it is important to recall that our battle against polio remains unfinished and the last mile continues to evade the world.  Two polio vaccines are used throughout the world. One is Salk’s IPV and the other is Albert Sabin’s attenuated polio vaccine also called then oral polio vaccine (OPV). Till the vaccines had been developed by peers Salk and Sabin (both from New York), polio was considered a major public health challenge that disabled children and adults.  Polio is a viral disease which can affect the spinal cord leading to paralysis. The polio virus enters the body through the mouth, usually from hands contaminated with the stool of an infected person. India has been declared polio free by the World Health Organisation (WHO).  I pictured myself as a virus or a cancer cell and tried to sense what it would be like, Salk said of his research. He is a fine example of why imagination can sometimes be more important than intelligence.
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