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Original Contributions
May 18, 1964

Anthrax in Massachusetts: 1943 Through 1962

Author Affiliations


Dr. Matz is assistant in dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Brugsch is the occupational hygiene physician of the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industries and assistant professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1964;188(7):635-638. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060330015004

Fifty-seven cases of cutaneous anthrax of occupational origin were reported in Massachusetts from 1943 through 1962, with little variation in the number of cases from year to year. A physician in private practice was consulted by the patients first as often as the company physician. There probably were unreported cases. Occupational history was important in the diagnosis. Antibiotics were effective in all seven cases described. Immunity from infection was not conferred by years of exposure. Bacteriological studies should be made before starting treatment because antibiotic medication rapidly removes Bacillus anthracis. In addition to the usual preventive measures, vaccination is urged as a valuable means of protecting those exposed.