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December 4, 1943


JAMA. 1943;123(14):904. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840490032013

At the conference of the Federation of Sewage Works Associations in Chicago in October Maxcy and Howe1 reviewed the significance of the occasional presence in sewage of the virus of infantile paralysis. The demonstration of the virus in the stools of patients and of carriers has been supplemented by the finding of the virus several times in urban sewage in periods of maximal incidence of the disease. This observation at once raised the question whether the virus in sewage can make its way into water supplies for drinking and for swimming pools and thus perhaps spread the disease. Maxcy and Howe point out that the virus can live only a short time in sewage so far as known now and that there is no likelihood of its surviving the passage through water purification plants. There is no evidence at hand that the virus can live on or multiply in