The surveillance of poliomyelitis in the United States in 1955
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The surveillance of poliomyelitis in the United States in 1955

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      Prepared for presentation before the Joint Session of Laboratory and Epidemiology Sections, American Public Health Association, Kansas City, Missouri, November 15, 1955.

      FOR RELEASE ON PRESENTATION Tuesday, November 15, 1955

      The National Poliomyelitis Surveillance Program was established 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, Georgia. Cooperative arrangements were made for the direct exchange of reports with all states and territories and with more than UO 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 1, 1955 through the Communicable Disease Center.

      Later published as: Am J Public Health Nations Health. 1956 Jan; 46(1): 75–88.

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