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February 20, 1960


Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich.; Detroit; Lansing, Mich.

From the Department of Epidemiology and Virus Laboratory, School of Public Health, University of Michigan (Dr. Brown); Communicable Disease Division, Herman Kiefer Hospital, Department of Health (Dr. Lenz); and Acute Communicable Disease Section, Michigan Department of Health (Dr. Agate).

JAMA. 1960;172(8):807-812. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020080037010

During an epidemic of poliomyelitis in Michigan in 1958, virological and serologic studies were carried out with specimens from 1,060 patients. Fecal specimens from 869 patients yielded no virus in 401 cases, poliovirus in 292, ECHO (enteric cytopathogenic human orphan) virus in 100, Coxsackie virus in 73, and unidentified virus in 3 cases. Serums from 191 patients from whom no fecal specimens were obtainable showed no antibody changes in 123 cases but did show changes diagnostic for poliovirus in 48, ECHO viruses in 14, and Coxsackie virus in 6. In a large number of paralytic as well as nonparalytic patients poliovirus was not the cause. Frequency studies showed that there were no obvious clinical differences among infections with Coxsackie, ECHO, and poliomyelitis viruses. Coxsackie and ECHO viruses were responsible for more cases of "nonparalytic poliomyelitis" and "aseptic meningitis" than was poliovirus itself. This, added to the fact that two immunological types of the poliovirus were involved in the epidemic, suggests the difficulty to be anticipated in future programs of immunization.

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