“While researching this book I was repeatedly struck by the fact that few people in Cork or anywhere else understood the grim mechanics of the disease. They almost invariably assumed that it was the result of poverty and lack of development. The idea that progress, the development of clean water and sewage disposal might make people more vulnerable to a crippling disease never occurred to them.”
The Polio outbreak of 1956 could point to the begining of the Celtic Tiger as health and hygene improved to such a state that kids weren’t drinking dirty water, and building up an immunity to the virus.
This observation is part of “The Broken Boy” by Patrick Cockburn. Patrick caught polio in 1956 when he was 6. He made a considerable recovery, but not a complete one… ‘I cannot run, I do not drive and I have a severe limp,’ However he is reporting from Baghdad at the moment.
I’ve got to get my hands on this…