[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 26, 1917


Author Affiliations

Health Officer NEWARK, N. J.

JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(21):1535-1540. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270050237006

HISTORY  The wave of infantile paralysis of 1916 appears to have been the crest of a prevalence curve which has been increasing in height since 1907, in which year the city of New York experienced an epidemic of 2,500 cases. This was the first large visitation of poliomyelitis in the United States.It is probable that a fresh impetus was given to the disease in America from that date as a result of direct infection brought from Europe, for the reason that the unusual prevalence of poliomyelitis in Norway and Sweden in 1904 and 1905 spread rapidly to the contiguous countries.It is certain that prior to 1907 poliomyelitis had not shown the same disposition to spread widely among exposed populations, and that the rural population suffered more than that of the cities. The cases in Louisiana in 1841, recorded by Colmer,1 were few in number. The only epidemic