Poliomyelitis in Mashonaland: a review of a recent epidemic in the Salisbury infectious diseases hospitals
Kotze, Derek M.
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During the five-month period from October, 1954, to February, 1955, the largest epidemic of acute poliomyelitis yet known occurred in Mashonaland, when a total of 99 cases (75 Europeans and 24 Africans) were admitted to the Salisbury City Council’s European and Native Infectious Diseases Hospitals. Twenty European and four African subjects were admitted from the Salisbury Municipal area; the remainder came from the surrounding suburbs and country districts of Mashonaland, including the towns of Gatooma in the west, Enkeldoorn to the south, Rusape in the east and Bindura to the north. During the same period one Asiatic adult with non-paralytic poliomyelitis, and two non-paralytic and one paralytic case in Coloured infants were notified. These patients are not included in the total number of cases as thev were treated in the Government Non-European Hospital. The epidemic was not confined to this part of Southern Rhodesia, as Bulawayo and Matabeleland reported at the same time a large number of cases, and some centres in South Africa, notably Durban and Johannesburg, experienced epidemics. The purpose of this paper is to review briefly some of the salient features of the epidemic and to discuss the clinical manifestations of poliomyelitis.