McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

August 22, 2012

Dr. Shuller recalls Polio epidemic

McALESTER — The summer of 1949 brings memories of widespread panic and helplessness as the Polio epidemic spread it’s dark wings over the city of McAlester, according to a long time McAlester pediatrician.

Dr. Thurman Shuller, 98, was a young Pediatrician in McAlester in 1949 and he said it was a summer he will never forget.

 He said the city’s parks, pools, theaters and even Sunday schools were empty as the Polio epidemic ravaged the town.
“There was panic everywhere,” he said. “We never had an epidemic like that before and no one was sure how to treat it.”
He said he diagnosed 55 children that year. “It started with a fever and muscle weakness and difficulty breathing,” Shuller said.
Some would recover fully but others suffered paralysis and even death, he said.
Nationwide that year of the 42,173 cases some 2,720 deaths occurred from polio, according to cdc.gov.
Dr. Shuller a longtime member of the Rotary Club of McAlester said he’s proud of what the club has done to help eradicate the Polio virus. “Rotary is working to eliminate Polio worldwide.”
And although it’s been eradicated in the Western Hemisphere he said the virus is still spreading in other countries.
In fact the Centers for Disease Control reports that the spread of polio has never stopped in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
 The Polio virus has been reintroduced and continues to spread in Chad and Democratic Republic of the Congo after the spread of the virus was previously stopped, according to cdc.gov.
Shuller said the Rotary club has made a commitment to the complete eradication of polio which cannot happen until the entire world is free of the disease.
He said the memories are still strong as he recalled a day when his wife, Joanna, called him at his office one  during that summer with terrifying news.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
Seasonal Content
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.