Epidemic Neuromyasthenia: Outbreak among Nurses at a Children's Hospital

This paper describes the outbreak which affected the staff of the Hospital for Sick Children

M. J. Dillon; W. C. Marshall; J. A. Dudgeon; A. J. Steigman

2009

Scholarcy highlights

  • In the late summer of 1970 an outbreak of an illness occurred among members of the nursing staff of the Hospital for Sick
  • Great Ormond Street, London, which had features in common with outbreaks reported from many different parts of the world
  • These have been described under a variety of names -poliomyelitis-like illness, Iceland disease, Akureyri disease, Royal Free disease, benign myalgic encephalomyelitis, and epidemic neuromyasthenia
  • After 9, 15, and 18 weeks these cultures were lost because of a technical failure of the incubator. This outbreak of illness has much in common with previously described outbreaks of what is currently known as epidemic neuromyasthenia
  • The illness started in late summer and lasted through the autumn, which concurs with the descriptions of over half the outbreaks
  • We would like to thank Dr Marguerite Pereira of the Central Public Health Laboratory, Colindale, Middlesex, for assistance with the virological studies; Dr June Almeida of the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, London, for her advice and criticism, in addition to electronmicroscopic studies; and Mr G

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