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October 5, 1946


Author Affiliations

Washington, D. C.

JAMA. 1946;132(5):304. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870400052021

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To the Editor:—  In connection with the current discussion of the use of interstate quarantine to prevent the spread of poliomyelitis, the experience of one who witnessed its failure during the epidemic of 1916 may be of interest.In the early days of that epidemic an official conference was called in Washington of state health officers and the Surgeon General and other officers of the United States Public Health Service to determine what had best be done. A draft of supposedly model interstate quarantine regulations was formulated, adopted by the conference and recommended for adoption by the several states. The vote in favor of adoption was, as I recall, unanimous, except that I, then health officer of the District of Columbia, refused to concur. Adoption by the several states, at least in the eastern part of the United States, where the disease was most prevalent, was prompt and general. The

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