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April 1959

Serological Studies of the Poliomyelitis Epidemic in Huskerville, Neb.

Author Affiliations

Lincoln, Neb.
Department of Bacteriology, University of Nebraska (Dr. Engelhard), Lincoln, Neb.; Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Nebraska (Dr. Bancroft), Omaha.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1959;97(4):409-417. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1959.02070010411005

This report describes the distribution of Types 1, 2, and 3 poliomyelitis antibodies in the sera of residents of Huskerville, Neb., after the severe epidemic of 1952. A detailed description of this epidemic was reported elsewhere.1

The Huskerville experience is of particular epidemiological importance because first, paralytic poliomyelitis was sharply limited in its geographic distribution; second, the greatly simplified physical facilities and social structure of the community made it possible to discern environmental factors and to relate them to the distribution of the clinical disease; third, factors within the community itself appeared to be decisive in determining the distribution of clinical disease and the intensity of virus invasion.

The epidemic of poliomyelitis was explosive, running its course in five weeks with an attack rate of paralytic disease (Table 1) of 20 per 1,142 population. Confirmed clinical paralytic and nonparalytic cases numbered 51 per 1,142 (Tables 1 and 2).


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