[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 26, 1916


Author Affiliations

Attending Physician, Cook County Hospital, Department of Contagious Diseases; Resident Physician, Cook County Hospital CHICAGO

JAMA. 1916;LXVII(9):666-669. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02590090020006

As long ago as 1865, Taylor,1 in referring to infantile paralysis, said, "There seems to be no doubt that this disease is much more frequent now and is rapidly increasing." It was not until 1881, however, that the first epidemic was described. This was reported by Bergenholtz, and consisted of eighteen cases in northern Sweden.

Since the Vermont2 epidemic of 1894, there have been at least fourteen epidemics of poliomyelitis carefully recorded in different parts of the United States. These have varied in both size and intensity, and have been scattered across the country from Massachusetts to California. Previous to the present epidemic, the largest number of cases was observed in the Swedish epidemic (1,031 cases) of 1905, and in the Pennsylvania epidemic (1,000 cases) of 1910. It is easily seen, therefore, that the 1916 epidemic, which has already exceeded 5,000 cases in New York with no