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War Surgery and Medicine

Comparison with Poliomyelitis

Comparison with Poliomyelitis

Modern work has shown that poliomyelitis virus is more easily recovered from stools than from naso-pharyngeal secretions (Trask et al., 1938, 1940, 1943; Kramer et al., 1939; Sabin and Ward, 1941; Paul, Havens and Van Rooyen, 1944).

Before it is possible to appreciate the underlying nature of these two virus diseases one should abandon older ideas which persistently endeavour to explain their epidemiology by case to case contact, oblivious of the existence of powerful immunity effects.

Both infective hepatitis and poliomyelitis are primarily intestinal maladies. The susceptible individual who ingests infective hepatitis virus develops the secondary complication of jaundice more frequently than do those who develop secondary paralytic phenomena after ingestion of poliomyelitis virus.

There have been in the past many adherents to the theory that the spread of infective hepatitis is of a catarrhal nature. One can only say that there is no evidence to support it out of the studies and experience in 2 NZEF, and that the aetiology and means of spread under wartime conditions in Egypt and Italy are clear.

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