We just learned that a 20-something unvaccinated individual in northern NY contracted polio. Polio was once one of the most feared diseases in the U.S. In the early 1950s, before polio vaccines were available, polio outbreaks caused more than 15,000 cases of paralysis each year with over 1,000 children being diagnosed per day. Following the introduction of vaccines, the number of polio cases fell rapidly to less than 100 in the 1960s and fewer than 10 in the 1970s.
Thanks to the polio vaccine and led by Rotarians around the world beginning in 1979, dedicated health care professionals, and parents who vaccinate their children on schedule, polio has been eliminated in this country for more than 30 years and in 99.9% of the world. Since 1979, no cases of polio have originated in the U.S. However, the virus has been brought into the country by travelers with polio. The last time this happened was in 1993. Serving as your District Polio Chair for 2018-20 gave Maureen and I a new appreciation of just how important Rotary is in eliminating this disease from the face of the earth. Here is Maureen vaccinating a child in Mehwat Nuh, India in 2019.
Don’t be frustrated, become more focused. So, what can we do as Rotarians: continue to encourage polio vaccination, and support our efforts to eradicate polio financially through The Rotary Foundation. I want to say I played a part in eliminating Polio from the face of the earth; how about you?
The schedule for the Vibrant Club Seminar on August 20 at St. Johns River State College in Palatka, has now been posted in DacDB. Have you signed up yet? In addition to training and fellowship, come and help us recognize your club’s successes for 2021/22.
Picture of the Week
Check out the picture below. This is the firetruck for Ukraine that District 6970 donations financed. It is a shame to have to do this, but I hope this tangible evidence helps you to feel you are doing something to help the Ukrainians in their time of need. DGE John Tabor will update us on other projects on August 20 at the Vibrant Club Seminar.