Medicine: New Polio

In the summers of 1934 and 1935, more than 300 women nurses in Los Angeles County Hospital fell ill with a mysterious, hideously painful disease.* A few more became ill in 1936 and 1937. The disease was first diagnosed as poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis). It was not. The Los Angeles press howled. Doctors were accused of incompetence, hospital officials of carelessness. Grand juries investigated. The county shouldered the bill for the care of the victims, which has now reached about $1,000,000. One newspaper charged that there was nothing really the matter with the...

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