Medicine: Polio Year

The nation would remember 1946 as its worst polio year in three decades. The year's toll so far: 22,371 cases (approaching 1916's record 27,000). Cost of treatment, $4,000,000, had almost wiped out the emergency aid fund of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Polio news was mostly bad: 1946 is the fourth consecutive epidemic year. The four-year total: 65,000 cases, more than twice as many as in the preceding quadrennium.

But for many a parent who had lived through the nightmare fear of polio, there was some statistical encouragement: in 1916, 25% of polio's victims died. This year, thanks to early recognition...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!