Polio in Italy
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Universidad de Granada
PoliomyelitisItalyVaccination campaignsHuman rightsPatient's associationsEconomy of healthPoliomielitisItaliaCampañas de vacunaciónDerechos humanosAsociaciones de pacientesEconomía de la salud
Fantini, B. «Polio in Italy». Dynamis: Acta Hispanica Ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam, Vol. 32, Núm. 2, 1, p. 329-359.
The history of polio in Italy is relatively short because the particular social and demographic history of the country has actually compressed the most dramatic history of the polio epidemic into only 40 years, from the first severe epidemic just before World War II to the early 1980s, when the epidemic vanished thanks to an effective and country-wide vaccination campaign. The epidemic, however, had a formidable impact on medicine, public health, social attitudes and culture. An analysis of this case study can illustrate the impact of an epidemic of a severe disease on individual and collective life, and at the same time the efficacy of public health measures against it, and the importance of the social structure, state and private, in coping with the consequences of the epidemics. In this period, the attitude towards the handicapped changed from stigma and isolation to social integration, thanks especially to the changes in health legislation, social action and the initiatives of the patient’ associations.