Poliomyelitis is a generalized systemic infection due to a virus, which has a predilection for the central nervous system and which sometimes produces flaccid paralysis.1 It is also known as epidemic or acute infantile paralysis, acute wasting paralysis and Heine-Medin's disease, terms which should be discarded, since the nonparalytic form of the disease is the more common2 and Underwood3 described it before Heine was born.4 Polioencephalitis is a syndrome resembling both poliomyelitis and encephalitis, and the term may signify either. Landry's paralysis usually, though not always, is a rapidly ascending form of poliomyelitis;5 sometimes it is familial;6 sometimes it is due to rabies, and occasionally it follows injections of vaccine.7 Acute aseptic or serous meningitis8 is very likely a nonparalytic form of poliomyelitis.
Evidence of poliomyelitis in Egyptian mummies of 3,700 B. C.9 and in skeletons of vikings buried in
DAVISON WC. POLIOMYELITIS—A RÉSUMÉ. Am J Dis Child. 1936;52(5):1158-1178. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1936.04140050114011