Contest Entries

Healthline Presents: Polio Revisited

Entrants: David Wasser, Alissa Collins Latenser and Don Kaiser

Affiliation: Retirement Living TV

TV (Local markets, network, syndicated)

Year: 2008

Place: First Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

Some Polio victims who thought they had recovered are finding that their old symptoms are returning decades later in the form of Post Polio Syndrome. To make matters worse, isolated cases of polio are popping up again in American children who have failed to be immunized and in American tourists who have contracted polio during their travels. This documentary revisits the height of America's dark days of polio, and the role President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the March of Dimes played in finding a cure.

Judges' comments: For most parents today, "polio" simply means that their young child will cry when getting a shot. But this riveting documentary takes us back to the days before the development in the early 1950's of the polio vaccine. With heartbreaking archival footage, it shows the fear that gripped families as the number of polio cases continued to mount after World War II. The program covers the push to develop a vaccine, scientific rivalries, Post Polio Syndrome and life from inside an iron lung. It is a powerful antidote against those who think that vaccines are to be feared more than a disease itself.

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