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February 1951


Author Affiliations

From the University of Southern California School of Medicine and the Communicable Disease and Otolaryngological Services of the Los Angeles County General Hospital.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1951;53(2):160-169. doi:10.1001/archotol.1951.03750020034005

MUCH CONTROVERSY in recent years has raged in the literature regarding the following questions: (1) Does a recent tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy increase the danger of the patient's contracting poliomyelitis? (2) If poliomyelitis has been contracted does a recent preceding tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy increase the danger that the bulbar type of the disease will develop? (3) Should tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies be discontinued during the summer months of highest poliomyelitis incidence?

The greatest incidence of poliomyelitis in this nation occurred in 1949 when 42,375 persons were stricken. Los Angeles County, formerly the scene of some of the nation's largest epidemics, recorded 1,229 cases of this disease (the third highest total in its history) during 1949. Follow-up observations in the home and complete statistical data were obtained in all cases by the Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles City Health Departments. This complete information regarding an entire year's incidence in a county

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