Polio is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. Poliovirus is usually spread from person to person through infected fecal matter entering the mouth. The disease is preventable with the polio vaccine; however, multiple doses are required for it to be effective.
Polio was first recognized as a distinct condition by the English physician Michael Underwood in 1789. The first polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s by Jonas Salk. Soon after, Albert Sabin developed an oral vaccine, which has become the world standard.
Here is a presentation on global polio eradication history, achievements, and challenges.