Another sad twist of the story is the genesis of the polio epidemic. Polio epidemics did not occur until after effective sewage treatment became widespread at the beginning of the 20th century. "Until the 20th century, all infants were exposed to [low levels of poliovirus in] raw sewage while still protected by their mothers' antibodies in breast milk," SaIk said. As a result, polio was a relatively rare, randomly occurring disease until the epidemics began in the 1920s.
Perceptions of Medical Risk Become Treatment Reality Neil Gussman Chemical Engineering Progress; Jul 2009; 105, 7; Docstoc pg. 72 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.
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