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June 10, 1950


Author Affiliations


From the South View Hospital, Milwaukee Department of Public Health, and the Department of Internal Medicine, Marquette University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1950;143(6):535-538. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910410021005

The purpose of this paper is to report on observations made during the Milwaukee poliomyelitis epidemic of 1948 and on experiences with the chemotherapeutic agent phenosulfazole (darvisul), which is N-(2-thia-zolyl)-phenol sulfonamide. Our report is based on the 277 patients with poliomyelitis admitted to South View Hospital for treatment.

Poliomyelitis in the United States had a lower incidence in 1947 than in any previous year since 1942.1 A total of 10,734 cases were reported over the nation, and the disease occurred in epidemic proportions only in relatively small areas. Milwaukee followed the general pattern in 1947, with only 87 cases reported. Of these, none was paralytic or bulbar; the entire series consisted of nonparalytic cases in which the diagnosis was based on the results of spinal fluid examinations and the presence of muscle spasm.2 In 1948 the type, severity and magnitude of the epidemic was entirely different. The United

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