The Danger of Exaggeration

How the fears of the people are played upon, and almost a panic created, is well illustrated in the newspaper reports and press despatches which for some weeks past have given prominence to the alleged epidemic of poliomyelitis, or infantile paralysis, which is said to be prevailing at the present time in New York City and its suburbs. While it is commendable that every reasonable precaution should be taken to guard against this and every other form of disease, it is not right that the danger should be exaggerated as has been done in this instance. On this phase of the situation in New York the Times of that city very pertinently says:—

Indeed, one of the dangers of the situation, and far from its least, is that, in exaggerated fears of this one malady, great numbers of children may be subjected by their frightened mothers to restrictions and seclusions the effect of which would be a greater increase of the juvenile death rate than poliomyelitis itself is liable to produce.

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August 12, 1916

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