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Canadian Public Health Association

Once Upon a City: Sweeping polio outbreak hits Toronto

Valerie Hauch

News Source

The Toronto Star



The polio epidemic of 1951 that swept up Neil Young included 2,568 victims nationwide, and 1,701 in Ontario. Two years later, in 1953, the epidemic in Canada crested, with 8,878 cases reported and 500 deaths nationally. The Canadian Public Health Association estimates that 11,000 people were left paralyzed by polio between 1949 and 1954.

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