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Photo of kids waiting to get the polio vaccine in the 1950's from Smithsonian Institute's website

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO –

A new exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington documents one of the most pervasive diseases in American history.

Fifty years ago, it was announced that Dr. Jonas Salk had developed a safe and effective vaccine against polio.

Joan Headley is the executive director of Post-Polio Health International in St. Louis, a research and advocacy group that assists older survivors of polio.

She told KWMU's Kevin Lavery that while polio is no longer the threat it once was, it's still fairly prevalent in parts of Africa.


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