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September 24, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(13):1062. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690130050018

This is the season of the year when infantile paralysis begins to appear more frequently in the lists of infectious diseases. Several communities report extensive outbreaks. The fears aroused among the public are well warranted in view of the serious harm wrought by the disease in many cases. Not a little of the apprehension is due to the fact that medicine is not yet certain as to the causative organism responsible for infantile paralysis, nor has it any certain method of prevention or cure. Surgeon W. H. Frost of the United States Public Health Service has recently summarized our knowledge of the disease. In 1840 von Heine clearly described it, and told how it differs from other paralytic conditions by the sudden onset of the paralysis and its flaccid atrophic character. In 1905 and 1906, when an especially severe epidemic prevailed in Sweden, Wickham pointed out that many patients recovered