No recent event in medicine has caused more anxiety than the epidemic of poliomyelitis during the summer of 1916, which became a panic in certain localities. Moreover, the history of the 1907 epidemic and similar records give reason to fear extensive recurrences of thedisease during the next two years.
While the subject of prevention is one of great importance and public interest, what now demands serious consideration is the care of the wreckage left after the epidemic. It is this problem that I desire to discuss. I shall speak (1) of the extent of recent epidemics, (2) of the inadequacy of the ordinary facilities for providing the requisite care, and (3) of plans suggested for meeting the existing needs.
During the past summer there were reported to the health authorities in the United States no less than 27,000 cases of poliomyelitis. About one half of these occurred in the state
LOVETT RW. THE AFTER-CARE OF POLIOMYELITIS AS A PUBLIC PROBLEM. JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(6):411-414. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270020091001