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JAMA 100 Years Ago
October 13, 1999

ETIOLOGY OF MALARIA

Author Affiliations
 

Edited by Jennifer Reiling, Editorial Assistant.

JAMA. 1999;282(14):1312B. doi:10.1001/jama.282.14.1312

The originality which Koch has displayed in most of his previous work is again shown in his official report1 on his studies of malaria at Grosseto. We learn from this report that he has been working at Grosseto in Tuscany, Italy, in conjunction with Professor Trosch and Dr. Ollwig, during the past summer season. This town is notorious for the prevalence of malaria during the hot season, which induces thousands of the inhabitants to leave it during the summer. Researches in the large public hospitals, as well as in the private practice of the sanitary officer, Dr. Pizzeti, showed that prior to June 23 there were relatively a small number of fever cases, and that these were invariably relapses of infections dating back to previous summers. After this date, however, new infections occurred in such numbers that the term "epidemic" could be used. The diagnosis was based on the presence of parasites in the blood in 408 instances, confirmed by the microscope as well as the clinical history, while all suspected cases in which the parasites were not found, proved to be not malaria by the subsequent course. Of the 408 cases, 15 were of the quartan type, 202 of the tertian variety, while 181 belonged to the estivo-autumnal class. The latter, identical in its parasite with the true tropical fever, was always a severe type of disease, however, without a death—under quinin treatment.

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