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October 12, 1912


Author Affiliations


From the Laboratories of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.

JAMA. 1912;LIX(15):1371-1372. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270100139010

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The problem of prevention of infection in epidemic poliomyelitis still confronts us. Progress in the study of poliomyelitis has been made and knowledge gained, but the question of supreme importance is this: Does this knowledge offer a solution of the mode of infection? With all diseases prevention is far better than the most perfect means of cure; with poliomyelitis it is better, first, because at present there exists no specific or true curative treatment, and, second and chiefly, because for the most part when the disease is first recognized it has already caused irreparable damage. An understanding of the mode of infection would lead inevitably to the framing of measures of prevention which, with reasonable certainty, could be expected to bring about a limitation of the extent of the epidemic spread.

The infectious agent or virus of poliomyelitis attacks chiefly the central nervous system. Indeed, it has been detected regularly

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