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May 2, 1953


Author Affiliations

2254 W. 113th St., Chicago 43.

JAMA. 1953;152(1):77. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690010083031

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To the Editor:  —For some time an insect has been suspected of being a carrier of the virus of poliomyelitis. The common house fly was at first suspected, and experiments seemed to strengthen this theory. Mosquitoes have also been suspect. These insects, of late, have been almost excluded as possible carriers for various reasons, chief of these being that explosive epidemics of poliomyelitis have occurred at seasons of the year when both house flies and mosquitoes were absent.In 1948, on a call to see a patient with poliomyelitis during the month of August, I observed a basket of fruit on the dining room table and saw that there were many drosophilas, or fruit flies, present in the room. I made several calls during the next few months at this house after the return of the patient from the hospital. Even after the weather had become cold, in late October,

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