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May 25, 1963

Poliomyelitis — Newberry County, South Carolina, 1961: A Break With the Past

JAMA. 1963;184(8):631-634. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700210065011

In 1961, Newberry County, South Carolina, reported more clinically recognized cases of poliomyelitis than ever before noted in that area. A total of 24 cases caused by Type 3 poliomyelitis virus were recognized; the rate of attack for the country was 83 per 100,000 persons. The epidemiological pattern of age and race involvement in this outbreak differed from previous experiences with poliomyelitis in South Carolina in that Negro children of school age were predominantly involved. It is suggested that personal contact through the Negro elementary school was a major factor in viral spread. The extent to which inactivated (Salk) poliomyelitis vaccine had been used varied between the Negro and other segments of the community. Only 2 of the 24 patients involved had received as many as 3 doses of inactivated vaccine.