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June 9, 1989

Poliomyelitis: The Battle Continues

Author Affiliations

Post-Polio Clinic St Mary's Hospital San Francisco, Calif

Post-Polio Clinic St Mary's Hospital San Francisco, Calif

JAMA. 1989;261(22):3294-3295. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420220108037

In 1979, Larry Schneider, a poliomyelitis survivor from Tucson, Ariz, wrote a letter to the editor of the Rehabilitation Gazette regarding the recent onset of pain, inexplicable fatigue, and a sense of progressing weakness 30 years after the onset of polio.1 He asked whether other polio survivors had noticed comparable symptoms. The subsequent flood of correspondence to editor Gini Lauri so astounded her that she called together a network of medical specialists and polio survivors for the First International Post-Polio Symposium in Chicago, Ill, in 1981. The ensuing presentations and discussions defined the scope of the problem of postpolio sequelae. Most in attendance agreed that postpolio-related problems were not truly a syndrome in the classic sense, because not all polio survivors develop all the same symptoms. Commonly described symptoms include joint and muscular pain, unaccustomed fatigue or decreased stamina in daily activities, cold intolerance, worsening respiratory problems, and, most