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March 8, 1919


Author Affiliations

Major, M. C., U. S. Army CAMP LEE, PETERSBURG, VA.

JAMA. 1919;72(10):715-716. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610100023009

Last fall The Journal called attention editorially1 to a series of small epidemics which had been reported during the spring in England and France and which were characterized by cranial nerve palsies, and fever. The French epidemic presented a mortality of 50 per cent., the fatal cases being due to the involvement of vital bulbar centers. The disease was variously regarded as botulism, poliomyelitis and some new infection, although the bacillus of botulism had not been isolated and there were reasons for doubting its identity with poliomyelitis. The spinal fluid in these cases was spoken of as being normal, and the spinal nuclei were apparently never involved. Of the cranial nerves, those having to do with the extra-ocular muscles were so commonly involved that the disease came to be spoken of as infectious ophthalmoplegia. Besides the third, fourth and sixth, the seventh, ninth, tenth and twelfth were said to

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