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August 18, 1956


JAMA. 1956;161(16):1586-1587. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970160066018

LABORATORY DIAGNOSIS OF POLIOMYELITIS AND POLIOMYELITIS-LIKE DISEASES  Relatively recent findings that indicate that many diseases masquerade as poliomyelitis have made physicians increasingly aware of the difficulty of diagnosing true poliomyelitis. It is now generally recognized that nonparalytic cases cannot be accurately diagnosed without laboratory tests. There is growing evidence that laboratory tests are equally important in diagnosing some paralytic cases. Agents that may produce a clinical picture similar to poliomyelitis include, in addition to ECHO and Coxsackie types of virus, such infections as lymphocytic choriomeningitis, mumps, and herpes.The development of the poliomyelitis vaccine intensifies the need for laboratory confirmation of all cases of poliomyelitis and poliomyelitis-like diseases. With widespread vaccination, the incidence of true poliomyelitis can be expected to decrease, and it will be more and more difficult to identify clinically the isolated and sporadic cases that do occur. Moreover, the vaccine itself may modify the course of the

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