The early accounts which tend to establish any particular disease as a definite clinical entity naturally have a peculiar interest to all who find pleasure in tracing the development of medical knowledge. The recent epidemics of poliomyelitis, especially in Norway, and during the past few months in various parts of this country also, have directed attention to the historical side of this disease, which no doubt occurred in the past in about the same way as it is manifesting itself in these days. At first, Bergenholtz, in Finland, was thought to have been the first to describe an epidemic of poliomyelitis, at least in Europe, his report covering 18 cases. Then it was found1 that the disease had been clearly described in 1868 by A. C. Bull, a country physician in Norway, under the title of "Meningitis Spinalis Acuta."
Bull reported to the health authorities fourteen cases of this
THE EARLY ACCOUNTS OF EPIDEMIC POLIOMYELITIS.. JAMA. 1908;L(9):690. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530350036004