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J. C. Geiger, M.D.
JAMA. 1942;119(3):286. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830200054019.
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Contagiousness through direct personal contact in epidemic and nonepidemic periods of acute anterior poliomyelitis is regarded by many departments of public health as a settled fact. The quarantine laws, however, as to the length of isolation applicable to contacts of this disease vary in states, counties and cities. The student of epidemiology is frankly at a loss in interpreting quarantine laws except from a legal point of view, and perhaps all such laws should be remodeled in order to meet modern epidemiologic methods and knowledge. The degree of contagiousness or, better termed, the infectivity rate, as determined by secondary cases, which can be attributed to contact, varies in epidemic and nonepidemic periods of acute anterior poliomyelitis. Moreover, the epidemiologic and clinical evidence appears definite and almost conclusive that the infectivity rate due to contact is far less in acute anterior poliomyelitis than in any other communicable disease. Perhaps the fact


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