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July 10, 1943


JAMA. 1943;122(11):764. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840280048024

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To the Editor:—  In view of the approaching season for possible poliomyelitis epidemics, it seems wise to summarize possible suggestions for limiting the spread of the disease. These suggestions are founded on present day knowledge, viz.:In the presence of the disease in a community:

  1. Avoid the use of any water that is possibly contaminated with sewage either for drinking, swimming or washing utensils. We know that sewage can carry the virus considerable distances and for an appreciable time.

  2. Avoid exhaustion from exertion or chilling. We know that overexertion and chilling during the incubation period tend to augment the oncoming disease.

  3. Avoid injury to the mucous membranes of the nose and throat, such as that resulting from a tonsil operation. We know that poliomyelitis exposures in the early post-tonsillectomy period are liable to result in severe—even fatal—infections, usually of the bulbar type.

  4. Treat every minor illness

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