The Surveillance of poliomyelitis in the United States in 1955
Published Date:January 1956
Source:Am J Public Health Nations Health. 1956 Jan; 46(1): 75–88.
Corporate Authors:Communicable Disease Center (U.S.) ; American Public Health Association. ;
Conference Authors:American Public Health Association. Annual Meeting (83rd : 1955 : Kansas City, MO)
The role of the Public Health Service in the poliomyelitis problems of 1955 may be grouped into three main activities: (1) the licensing of products and producers and the clearance of vaccines; (2) the administration of federal grant-in-aid funds and of the voluntary interstate program for the distribution of vaccine; and (3) the surveillance of the disease and the field evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. The present report will be limited to the surveillance activities.
The National Poliomyelitis Surveillance Program was created by the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service on April 28, 1955, immediately after the recognition that cases of poliomyelitis were occurring in association with vaccine manufactured by Cutter Laboratories. The purpose of the program was to provide a clearing house for the collection, consolidation, and dissemination of all pertinent epidemiologic information regarding the poliomyelitis problems confronting the nation.
The Poliomyelitis Surveillance Unit was established in the Communicable Disease Center with headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. Cooperative arrangements were made for the direct exchange of reports with all states and territories and with more than 40 virus laboratories both in government and in academic institutions. A total of 42 epidemic intelligence service officers, including 29 physicians, 4 nurses, 6 statisticians, and 3 veterinarians were either assigned to full-time polio duty or alerted for first priority polio investigation, as needed. Funds were made available for diagnostic support of surveillance activities to the collaborating laboratories first through the Sectional Research Program of the National Microbiological Institute and after July Disease Center. Poliomyelitis Surveillance Reports have been issued regularly since May 1 to all state health officers, state epidemiologists, directors of participating laboratories, and many others having responsibilities in the field of poliomyelitis. News releases giving summaries of the data were issued from the Surgeon General's office. Much of the information collected by the Polio Surveillance Unit was used in the "Technical Report on Salk Poliomyelitis Vac- 1, 1955, through the Communicable Disease Center.
Poliomyelitis Surveillance Reports have been issued regularly since May 1 to all state health officers, state epidemiologists, directors of participating laboratories, and many others having responsibilities in the field of poliomyelitis. News releases giving summaries of the data were issued from the Surgeon General's office. Much of the information collected by the Polio Surveillance Unit was used in the "Technical Report on Salk Poliomyelitis Vaccine," issued June 10, 1955, and the "Report on Poliomyelitis Vaccine Produced by the Cutter Laboratories," issued on August 25, 1955. Opportunity is taken at this time to present a more complete account of the National Poliomyelitis Surveillance Program. This report will consider two main questions. The first will be an epidemiologic evaluation of the safety of polio vaccines as used this year, including a documentation of the difficulties arising from the use of some vaccine manufactured by the Cutter and Wyeth Laboratories, and an appraisal of the safety of vaccines in current use. The second question will be a preliminary evaluation of the effectiveness of the vaccines as actually used this year.
This paper was presented before a Joint Session of the Laboratory and Epidemiology Sections of the American Public Health Association at the Eighty-Third Annual Meeting in Kansas City, Mo., November 15, 1955.
Supporting Files:No Additional Files
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