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Year : 1985  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 175-82

Paralytic poliomyelitis in children : some facts and figures from a hospital at Calcutta--1.


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S N Basu


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PMID: 3835135

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This article is based on the analysis of the 17,839 cases of paralytic poliomyelitis treated at Calcutta's B.C. Roy Polio Clinic and Hospital for Crippled Children in 1965-80. Yearly statistics indicate a rising trend in the incidence of polio, with the lowest number of cases (522) encountered in 1966 and the highest number (2208) in 1979. 48% of patients attened the hospital in the acute stage of the disease and 10% were seen in the residual stage. The cases came from virtually all the states of India, indicating polio's endemic characteristic. An unexpected finding was that the polio cases were equally distributed between urban (50.03%) and rural (49.98%) areas. The duration of illness was 1-30 days in 48% of cases, 31 days-2 years in 42% of cases, and over 2 years in another 10%. Of interest was the observation of a uniform fluctuation (a peak followed by a lull) in alternate years. It is speculated that, in the years with a higher disease incidence, the immunity status of the population improves from subclinical infection. These findings point to a need for continuing emphasis on the prevention and control of poliomyelitis as well as proper surveillance and recording.


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