Progress in Pediatrics
November 1936


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Duke University School of Medicine, and the Duke Hospital, Durham, N. C., with the assistance of Miss Judith Farrar, librarian at the Duke Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1936;52(5):1158-1178. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1936.04140050114011

DEFINITION  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.

HISTORY  Evidence of poliomyelitis in Egyptian mummies of 3,700 B. C.9 and in skeletons of vikings buried in

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