McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

August 22, 2012

Dr. Shuller recalls Polio epidemic

(Continued)

McALESTER —

 “I was in the middle of an office full of patients when my wife called and said my 2-year-old daughter had a fever. I had just made a Polio diagnosis on a little boy who had been playing in our backyard,” he said.
“I was terrified, there was no way I could get away from the office.”
He said that night was frightening but the next morning his little girl had fully recovered. 
“I became even more empathetic for the parents of the children I was treating,” he said.
Today, Shuller said he still attends Rotary Club meetings and he said he regularly supports the PolioPlus program which helps the club fund operational costs, such as transportation, vaccine delivery, social mobilization, and training of health workers, and support surveillance activities.
Meanwhile Shuller said the summer of 1949 wasn’t the end of the epidemic as a vaccination wasn’t licensed until 1962.
 “There were more the next year, but not nearly as many.
“It was a terrible year,” Shuller said.

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Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

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