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POLIOMYELITIS: NEWARK 1916 — “THE GRIP OF FEAR” is a study of the devastating "scourge" that struck the city of Newark a century ago. Most victims were infants and toddlers for whom there were no effective treatments, no vaccines, and no iron lungs. Per capita, Newark was the hardest hit of any American city, with 1,360 cases and 363 deaths. The book draws heavily on newspaper accounts, public health documents, and the accounts of physicians who faced the epidemic with uncertain knowledge and no effective treatment. Public health officials, as in all epidemics, desperately sought to limit the spread of disease and, in the process, risked creating a medical police state. Hundreds of survivors faced a lifetime of disability, giving poliomyelitis its particular power to terrify.