Explore the efforts and progress that have been made over time to defeat infectious diseases such as Guinea worm, polio, malaria, and others. Smallpox is the only human disease that has been eradicated, but governments worldwide have been working hard for many decades to wipe out various diseases on the national level — and many have been successful.

Plus, learn about Boston’s historic connection to polio and what polio treatment was like at Boston Children’s Hospital during outbreaks in the first half of the 20th century. Examine a 1950s-era restored iron lung, the mechanical device that helped polio patients breathe — and was invented in Boston!

Adapted from an exhibition created by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (amnh.org) in collaboration with The Carter Center. Special thanks to Boston Children’s Hospital for the loan of the iron lung; Turner Construction Co.; CHMC Anesthesia Foundation; Boston Children’s Hospital Archives; Mark Rockoff, MD; Alina Morris, MLIS; Patrick Bibbins; John Thompson; Robert Gulling; and Robert Sullivan.