November 10, 2011 | GlobalPost

Past lessons, future progress
A guest post by Dr. de Quadros of the Sabin Vaccine Institute on treating pneumonia today

When I think of my early days as the chief medical officer at a small clinic in the Brazilian Amazon, I marvel at how much has been achieved. In the early 1960s, smallpox devastated the lives of families throughout my country, and indeed the world. Similarly, polio inspired widespread panic and fear of life-altering paralysis, especially in the summer when outbreaks were common.

Vaccines to prevent both diseases were in use, but not widespread – and comprehensive plans to contain each disease were lacking. As scientists, we knew that case management – or treatment planning to ensure that appropriate medical care is provided to those who fell ill – would be essential not only to improving the health of the sick, but also to protecting those who are at risk.

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