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August 5, 1944


JAMA. 1944;125(14):990. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850320048022

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To the Editor:—  The statement in the editorial in The Journal, July 8, that "the discrepancy in the statistics of Page and those of Stillerman and Fischer and of Aycock and others is no doubt due to the method of investigation" is somewhat misleading.No one has claimed that tonsillectomy is frequently followed by poliomyelitis, nor has any one claimed that poliomyelitis is frequently preceded by tonsillectomy (figures collected to date show that bulbar poliomyelitis following tonsillectomy by an interval corresponding to the incubation period of the disease comprises about 1 per cent of all reported cases of the disease). Tonsillectomy is a common procedure and poliomyelitis a relatively rare occurrence. Page's finding of 1 case following 8,915 tonsillectomies would appear to be entirely consistent with the now generally accepted view that the avoidance of tonsillectomy during prevalence of poliomyelitis prevents the occurrence of numbers of cases of an extremely

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