Jonas Salk: The Man Who Denied The Polio Patent

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Jonas Salk: The Man Who Denied The Patent
Jonas Salk: The Man Who Denied The Patent

Who is Jonas Salk?

Jonas Salk (Oct 28, 1914 – June 23, 1995) was a medical researcher or call him a virologist instead was the man who discovered the first successful inactivated polio vaccine.

What made it a great contribution?

During 1952 in America polio happened to become a major threat causing diseases to millions of people. This became a solid reason for the research of a vaccine which would prevent the disease.
Jonas Salk along with his team worked for more than 7 years to come up with a vaccine. He was considered as the man who dedicated life for the purpose of research even though he had ample opportunities to become a physician. His sole focus had been to develop a safe and effective vaccine as rapidly as possible.

How did polio affect lives?

Polio is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Poliovirus is often transmitted from person-to-person through fecal matter. The virus can also be spread by contaminated food or water or direct contact with another infected person. You cannot completely cure polio, but thanks to the medical researchers and who have found a remedy through vaccines for the prevention.

Polio caused loss of reflexes, deformed limbs, paralysis, breathing problem, muscle pain and floppy limbs.
Back then polio was endemic and increased exponentially. Polio had no cure. Even today it cannot be cured completely, but the symptoms can be treated, but it is not a guaranteed solution.

Why don’t we know more about him?

When asked who owned the patent to it, Jonas Salk said “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?” He denied owing patent for the discovery which is calculated to be worth $7 billion had it been patented.

Jonas Salk: The Man Who Denied The PatentWhat is the status of Polio today?

In 2012, India was taken off the WHO list of polio-endemic countries and now Polio remains mostly in Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
What did Salk leave behind for this world?
Jonas Salk last years was spent searching for a vaccine against HIV. He founded the Salk Institute in California which is still one of the major centers of biological research

3 Quotes from Jonas Salk to motivate us:

  • “The reward for a work well done is the opportunity to do more.”
  • “It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It’s my partner.”
  • “There is hope in dreams, imagination, and in the courage of those who wish to make those dreams a reality.”

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3 thoughts on “Jonas Salk: The Man Who Denied The Polio Patent

  1. Awesome post Vidyashree, I am surely becoming a big fan of yours for such kind of blogs. Honestly I was not even aware about him, I mean I was aware about his name and work, but I was not much aware about him. Thanks that you provided me the opportunity to know him through your post.

    1. Thank you Alok. Your words are always good encouragement for us. We will keep up the work. In fact I get to know a lot when I write about such personalities. So much to get inspired and inspire 🙂

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