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July 20, 1940


JAMA. 1940;115(3):221. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810290051015

Dauer,1 of the United States Public Health Service, provides data on the prevalence of poliomyelitis in the United States in 1939 and also summarizes some of the more important results of experimental investigations on poliomyelitis which were reported in the same year. In contrast to the unusually low incidence of poliomyelitis in the United States in 1938, during which time 1,705 cases and 487 deaths were reported, there was a considerable increase in the number of cases in 1939; in the latter year the number of cases was 7,331, a rate of 5.6 per hundred thousand of population. The case rate was highest in New Mexico, where it was 26.1, but in South Carolina, Arizona and Minnesota the rate was over 20. In three other states, Michigan, Utah and California, the case rates were between 15 and 20. In general, during 1939 the distribution of the disease was characterized