State Highway Marker

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Poliomyeletis- 1935

To put a human face on Monday's posting about the 1935 Polio outbreak, here is another entry from that same session of the Board of Supervisors . . .

IN RE: AUTHORITY FOR PURCHASE OF ORTHOPEDIC APPLIANCE FOR CRIPPLED CHILD, EDMUND CAUTHORNE, COLORED.
    The Clerk exhibited a letter from office of Dr. Riggan, State Department of Health stating that it was necessary to purchase a steel brace for this child at a price of approximately $40.00. The Chairman of the Board, upon motion duly made and seconded, was authorized to contact the authorities in Richmond, and secure such an appliance at minimum cost, and report his action to the next meeting of the Board.

 To put that in perspective, the Sheriff's monthly salary in 1935 was $83.33

Some information on Infantile Paralysis in Depression Era Virginia . . .

  "To summarize,in 1935 up to November 1, 674 cases of poliomyelitis, including 37 deaths, were reported to the State Department of Health. The disease reached almost every section of the state though it was unusually prevalent in only a few counties. It is remarkable how readily these cases, occurring mostly in a little over 2 months, separate into two distinct groups having marked differences. The paralytic cases, appearing first in the counties bordering on North Carolina and spreading along the routes of travel throughout the state, . . ."

-American Journal of Public Health, Feb., 1936

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