Poliomyelitis or infantile paralysis prevailed in epidemic form along the Atlantic seaboard in the summer of 1907. About that time it appeared in Austria and Germany. In the summer of 1909 the disease reappeared as a focalized epidemic in Greater New York and had, by that time, spread widely throughout the United States and Europe.
The cause and mode of dissemination of the disease are unknown; and hence there exists no intelligent means of prevention. While the severity and fatality of the disease fluctuate widely, its effects are always so disastrous as to make it of the highest medical and social importance.
In spite of many thorough studies of the spontaneous disease in man, our knowledge of causation and prevention has not been advanced; it may be hoped that it will be advanced by the opportunity for fundamental study opened up by the successful transmission
FLEXNER S, LEWIS PA. THE TRANSMISSION OF ACUTE POLIOMYELITIS TO MONKEYS. JAMA. 1909;LIII(20):1639. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.92550200027002g
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