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November 15, 1952


JAMA. 1952;150(11):1139. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.03680110079024

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Lessons from Poliomyelitis Epidemics.  —In the summer and autumn of 1950 an epidemic of poliomyelitis attacked an area in the north of Norway with a population of about 105,000. The two hospitals serving this area admitted 185 definitely paralytic patients and 50 cases of "serous" meningitis without paresis. The youngest patient, who died when only 10 days old, was admitted to hospital with his mother who was suffering from nonparalytic serous meningitis. The severity of the disease rose with the patients' age, the mortality being 9% for patients under the age of 10 years, while it was 26% for those over 30. Altogether, there were 29 deaths, and among the 156 survivors there were only 6 who became permanent invalids. Commenting on the lessons to be drawn from this epidemic, Dr. Henrik F. Lange, Dr. Paul E. Paulsen, and Dr. Jörgen H. Vogt pointed out in the organ of the

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