History repeats in North Peace, Fort St John under quarantine due to polio in 1948

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – While we are dealing with mass public self-isolation and quarantine, due to COVID-19, the Peace Region has seen similar measures taken before.

In the summer of 1948, Fort St. John and the Peace Region saw a polio epidemic.

During the polio epidemic, many summer events, such as the Fall Fair and Graduation Dinner, were cancelled as a way to prevent the spread of the disease.

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According to local historical records, a total of 50 patients were diagnosed with polio and only one person died from the disease.

In order to help patients, Dr. George Cormack coordinated the construction of a Polio Annex at the Hospital which isolated polio victims and had a clover shaped therapy pool.

The quarantine lasted for four months, delaying the start of school until the end of September, with the cold weather putting an end to the epidemic.

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