Studies on Paralytic Poliomyelitis in Cairo, U.A.R., 1957–1958

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  • United States Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Cairo, U.A.R.


Of the 830 poliomyelitis patients with paralysis of 15 days duration or less reporting to the Children's Hospital, Cairo, U.A.R., from July 1957 through June 1958, 497 yielded enteroviruses, 447 of which proved to be polioviruses. Poliovirus type 1 was the dominant type in 1957–1958 while poliovirus type 2 was dominant in Cairo in 1955. Seasonal distribution for the 447 confirmed cases was uniform throughout the greater part of the year. Ninety-four per cent of the cases occurred in children between 7 and 30 months of age, most of these affecting the youngest child in a family. Although certain districts within Cairo proper accounted for more paralytic cases than others, no explanation was available as to the reason. The incidence of paralytic poliomyelitis was at least 4 times higher in the 0 to 4 year-old population of Cairo in 1957–1958 than in similar age groups in Southern United States in 1955. The results reported herein are in agreement with other observations elsewhere in the Middle East, and all tend to emphasize one point: if poliomyelitis is to be successfully controlled in the Middle East, immunization must be completed at the earliest possible age.

Author Notes

Guest investigator, NAMRU #3, Lecturer in Pediatrics, Kasr El Ainy Children's Hospital, Cairo University, Cairo, U.A.R.