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Fight Spread of Paralysis Epidemic
By WILLIAM C. UTLEY Approximately 350 cases of poliomyelitis—"polio” for short and popularly known as “infan tile paralysis” have been brought to light in North Carolina in one of the worst epidemics of the dread disease in recent history. The epidemic is rapidly spreading north into Virginia. Its further course .will probably be checked with the ad vent of cooler weather, for polio is a summer disease, and by the efforts of local, state and federal health authori ties. They have turned the area into a I K * BBL W m I m m B Wk K \ * HTO BBfojgF A .^ || > w gigantic human laboratory for the study of the use of vaccines in im munizing persons to the disease. Med ical authorities on the spot believe it will prove to be the most Important experiment of its kind ever undertaken. North Carolina’s plight follows in the wake of lesser epidemics In Cali fornia and elsewhere. The very seri ousness of the increase in Infantile paralysis cases may prove to be a blessing in disguise If enough can be learned about the insidious virus, which twists and cripples bodies, to protect humanity against it In the future. The first widespread attack of polio was noticed in Jackson county, in the for western part of North Carolina. From there the disease jumped, in the words of Dr. J. C. Knox, state epi demiologist, “like a skyrocket,” and “burst” in Raleigh and the rest of .Wake county, all the way across the state, on the Atlantic seaboard. It is believed that the disease in North Carolina has been checked and Is abating, but in Virginia the num ber of cases reported is on the upturn, its course having seemingly followed the highways over the entire length of the state, with no indication yet as to where its spread will stop. ! Cause of Spread Unknown. i Just how the disease was carried is not known. Direct contact with a dis eased person is not necessary to con tract it. It almost never strikes two members of the same family. “Car rlerg”—people who have such mild cases of polio that they do not even feel sick—carry the virus to others whose natural immunity is low and who therefore contract the disease in considerably more violent form. That is much the same as the manner In which typhoid fever and diphtheria are spread. A single carrier, unknown to bimself, may create several severe cases. When a few carriers hit a region where the natural immunity of ihe peo ple is relatively low, an epidemic is usually the result. That is probably what happened in North Carolina and Virginia. While the disease is not nearly so much confined to young children as the term Infantile paralysis would sug gest, it Is still more prevalent in chil dren of five or less than In any other age group. For that reason the One sure preventive is a difficult one to administer. It is complete isolation. The only way to be absolutely certain of keeping children from catching polio is to keep them away from all play mates and from all crowds and pub lic gatherings. The same applies to adults, but they are not so likely to catch It. Unfortunately there Is no sure way to tell who is Immune and who is not. And there is no means of effecting artificial immunity which has been sat isfactorily proven. Vaccines which may do the trick are being tested now In the southeast epidemic. Dr. Maurice Brodie, working under Dr. William H. Park, head of the New York city health department, has de veloped the Park-Brodie vaccine. An other has been developed by Dr. John A. Kolmer, of the Temple university medical school in Philadelphia. With the William H. Merrell company, manu facturing chemists of Cincinnati, Doc tor Kolmer Is providing between 6,000 and 7,000 "shots” of the vaccine free every month —enough to vaccinate about 3,600 children. Test Two Serums. Neither of these vaccines must be believed to be a cure. They are merely preventives. Both of them contain the polio virus—not a bacterium, but a poison. The Park-Brodie vaccine con tains the “killed” virus and Doctor Kolmer’s contains the greatly weak ened virus. Both have been known to produce in animals an immunity \vhlch lasts about two years. How long it will last on human beings has not yet been determined, for it has not yet had sufficient test. A necessary requisite for both vac cines is the Rhesu.; monkey, the little “blushing” monkey, so called because of the way his face gets red when he is excited, which we see in zoos. 11 igMS^gas^g^M! lr - r ja>^jAam|gasaß^|gl Mi|Ml .... Left: Exercising the muscles of an infantile paralysis victim in the un- I derwater treatment Above: A new shipment of Rhesus monkeys arrives R from Asia to provide experimental serums. Right: Ready to give their lives H for science. I Rhesus monkeys are Imported from India, where they are held to be sacred, at a cost of SIO.OO each. In preparation for giving his life that humanity may be saved from the scourge of polio, the mon key Is quarantined for two weeks to make sure that it is in good health. At the end of that period It is given an ether anesthetic and the polio virus is injected through its skull into the brain. Infantile paralysis develops. When the disease reaches its climax, the monkey is killed and its spinal cord, full of the virus, is removed. This cord is hacked up into tiny bits and Immersed In a salt solution in a vessel which contains a number of steel balls a half inch or so in di ameter. While the vessel Is shaken and agitated for 12 hours, the balls crush the bits of spinal cord to a pulp. The fluid which is thus obtained is at tenuated with sodium ricinoleate and allowed to Incubate for eight hours. Then it is strained and purified and put into bottles which hold five cubic centi meters each, enough to bring immunity to three children. The cost of making a three-dose treatment is $2.00. In order to reduce this cost—which is forced by the high cost of Importing the animals —Doctor ICflmer suggests that a laboratory be established right at the source of sup ply in India. There the spinal cords could be prepared and the vaccine shipped out in a solution of glycerine. Children Replace Animals. While indications certainly point to the fact that at last artificial immunity has been perfected, the vaccines are still admittedly in the experimental stage. The last great experiment is one of the most dramatic medical tests that could be imagined. For Instead of monkeys or white mice, the laboratory subjects are boys and girls. Some of them are selected to receive the vaccine and an equal number are selected as “controls” who will not receive the injections, but who will be observed for symptoms exactly the same as the vaccinated subjects. All selections are made by lot. Ab solutely no partiality is shown. To insure against the personal acquain tance element which might destroy the impartiality so vital to such an under taking, the administration of the tests has been taken out of the hands of lo cal authorities. Medical men from the United States public health service are operating to relieve local physicians from the Inhuman task. Dr. James P. Leake directs the work. Dr. A. G. Gilliam, at Greensboro, N. C., has been charged with the thank less job of deciding which children are to receive the vaccine and which are to act as controls. It is he who must listen to the pitiful pleading of par ents that their children be given the chance for immunity. Here is some thing which may prevent their loved ones from contracting one of the most dreadful of all diseases. Even if it does not work it will do no harm. But humanity must know for certain whether it will work. And if such knowledge is ever to be acquired, the tests must be conducted Impersonally. The vaccine must be administered to children of all classes—the poor, the rich, the Intelligent, the unintelligent. It must be given to many whether their parents want them to have It or not. And it must be withheld from others whose parents have, like one of the most prominent surgeons in the South, fought tooth and toenail and pulled every string in desperate attempt to secure immunization for them. Selecting the Subjects. There is drama for you! What heroes these federal men ar! to be able to withstand the frantic pleading of loving mothers and straw-grasping fathers! Here’s the way Doctor Gilliam does it: Parents who desire vaccine for their children register with their family physician. Half the children ere se lected for vaccine and the other half as controls by Doctor Gilliam’s office. Then those to be vaccinated are or dered to report back to their physician and are given the vnccine. The physi cian must give it as ordered, must ac count for his supply, because the fed eral men have the names of the re cipients on file and the recipients them selves under observation. The idea, of course, is to observe whether fewer cases develop among the vaccinated group than among the control group. MIDLAND JOURNAL, RISING SUN, MD. Of course other tests are being made. It is being found that Injections of serums prepared from the blood of convalescent cases is not harmful, but is also of very little help. Dr. W. Lloyd Aycock, of the Infantile paraly sis commission of Harvard university, believes that heredity is an important factor and is making experiments to determine the truth of his assumption. Symptoms Often Unrecognized. Infantile paralysis in a locality where there is no epidemic is often un recognized until actual paralysis sets in. At first it looks like any one of a number of other infectious dis eases. There is headache, vomiting, drowsiness, irritability, fever, flushing, congestion of the throat and great sweating at night. Usually early symp toms are stiffness of the back and neck. Since the inflammation reaches the nervous system, there may be pain in the muscles and joints, tenderness of the skin and pain in moving any of the joints. This latter pain may be so intense that any slight movement will be almost unbearable. As soon as the doctor suspects polio, he will probably want to make certain laboratory tests to make sure, for there are otiier diseases, such as menin gitis, which affect the spinal cord. He will probably inject a needle into the spinal cord and draw off some of the fluid to examine it. In the early, or preparalytic stages, the disease may resemble a severe summer cold and is indeed upon in stance without more harmful per manent effect than a cold. Early and correct diagnosis is of great impor tance. The victim is immediately put to bed and given absolute rest. Perhaps the doctor will administer a convalescent blood serum or a vaccine, the useful ness of neither of which is certain. The patient is kept away from all con tact with others. And that is about all that can be done at that point. Six or eight weeks may be the pe riod during which all movement or ex ertion is highly dangerous. The apparent helplessness of __the physician during this period sometimes drives frightened parents to-accept the remedies of so-called “natural healers” and other quacks which often destroy the patient’s chances for survival. Exercise Must Be Gradual. Not until every trace of tenderness is gone can even the simplest of mus cle exercises begin. Fatigue must be avoided. Relaxation and ease must be encouraged. Swimming pools and un derwater treatment are desirable in most cases. This method was discov ered in a Chicago hospital. The de velopment of the Warm Springs, Ga., pool under the patronage of its most dis gulshed visitor and patient, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and using his name for its natural publicity value, has encouraged many cities to main tain pools for the underwater treat ment of infantile paralysis. Much of the rebuilding process de pends upon the patient himself and the attitude of the persons with whom he comes in contact during convalescence. It is the tendency of many families to pamper and pity the child who has some physical defect such as that which may be brought on by paralysis, and the child too often for his own good takes advantage of the situation. While such a child should not be spoiled, he should be entertained, en couraged and treated as a perfectly normal member of the family insofar as possible, according to authorities. Slowly but certainly, mankind is go ing to learn how to beat poliomyelitis, just as It .has other diseases. One of the most important steps will be the experiments now being conducted in North Carolina and Virginia. Meanwhile, parents whose children have been afflicted need only to ex amine history to take heart. To men tion only two, there are men who have attained great heights vic tims of infantile Wal ter Scott was struck iwßfv the disease when hardly more tnMro baby, yet lived to become immortal in the world of letters; Franklin D. Roosevelt did not contract it until he was a fully grown man, yet he is today Pres ident of the United States and one of the most tireless dynamos of eucrgy in all history. The moral Is: Take heart—-and don't give upl ffl WuMrn Newspaper Union. V * I ■ a-' v,. ;&v ,! “Dutch Girl” String Holder for Kitchen By GRANDMOTHER CLARK As a decorative hanger for the kitchen, this little girl will add an other smile to your home. It’s an attractive string holder and costs only a few cents and a little spare time. An acceptable gift novelty, and after you make up one you will want more of these Dutch Girls to serve you. This package No. A 1 contains stamped material ready to be cut out, also died out girl's head and shoes printed in colors on heavy board. This material and direc tions how to make it up will be mailed to you for 15c for one pack age or four packages for 50c. Ad dress Home Craft Co., Dept. A, 19th and St. Louis Ave., St. Louis, Mo. Enclose a stamped addressed enve lope for reply when writing for any information. Tell* on Tax Dodger A burglar has helped the authori ties of Carlsbad, the Bohemian holi day resort, to deal with a case of evasion of taxes. He broke into a Carlsbad shop and robbed the till, taking away an account book with him. Evidently he knew something of accountancy, for a few days later the police received the book by post with numerous items marked in red pencil. “Dodging his taxes. Make him shell out!’’ an enclosed note urged, and, the figures showed sys tematic evasion of the turnover tax. The authorities have decided to continue searching for the burglar, all the same. Blake makes a Fresh Start I THAT'S NO WAS QUIT! I DON'T FEEL [BREAK UP 1 TO TREAT THE Cl RE PLAYING 1 THE GAME. .1 80V I HE DIDN'T ANYWAY / * I’VE f MAV66 THAT , ■ airV^^Ovri J t7YoH,Alf B6HT VcußsesN have coFpee-uems ..iwilltry stymieo again. l ...AND THE DOCTOR IT)To PROV/6 I CAN’T STAY < SAIP SWHtHINGTO THAT DOCTORS 'HERE if HE’S ■ harmfunapplied only “Oh, no, Daddy... wffssw, many adult., too, find SoclnTplTne^i cause indigestion, or prevent sound sleep!” . If you suspect that coffee disagrees with you... try I Postum fot 30 days. Ffestum contains no caffein. It's I simply whole wheat and bran, roasted and slightly sweetened. It’s easy to make, and costs less than half a cent a cup. It’s delicious, too ... and may prove a real help. A product of General Foods. FREE! Let us send you your first week’s supply I of Postum tree! Simply mail the coupon. Send me, without obligation, a week’s supply of Poatum. y Fill in oomplatefy—print name and addrsM I IMsofcmffoWpSMM DIETARY HABITS NEED FOSTERING EARLY IN CHILD Nothing is quite so important to health as food. The wellbeing of a child depends on it, and his fu ture stamina will reflect nutritive discrepancies In babyhood. The mother who thinks that there is time enough ahead for corrective diet is laboring under a traditional delusion that up until two years of age and sometimes longer, milk is the sum total of everything. Milk Is the warp and the woof of what it takes to get through life, and especially at its beginning. But it needs supplementing, because Its chemistry is low in a few needed es sentials nnd the child, set in ids all milk diet, resists other foods. Doctors Prescribe Varied Foods. Doctors long ago recognized the value of adding other foods to the diet of milk, early in babyhood, in order to offset future finicky appe tites. Thus the infant of six weeks gets his cod-liver oil and orange juice or tomato juice; a little later a spoonful or two of prepared vege table juice or even the strained veg etable itself. At a period that in the past would have been consid ered murderous he gets his bit of cereal, part of the yolk of an egg, a snack of baked potato and mashed stewed fruit. Whatever today’s baby Is given, should, of course, be absolutely un der the doctor’s direction. There is a difference in babies. But the great truth that many mothers do not know is that chil dren with touchy appetites at six or eight or ten years of age, are the results of fixed preference in babyhood. Caution Must Be Exercised. Another thing that should be re membered is that as milk must be the alpha and omega of his meal, Save with Simoniz! /a. Simoniz your car ... you’ll find it pays! Simoniz \ makes a car beautiful to stay —and the finish last V\ tgur,, H \ longer. Cleaning, too, is easy! 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