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Of human infections with organisms of the melitensisabortus group, three clinical types are recognized: a chronic form, lasting months, with remissions; a subacute form, and the rarer malignant type here described.
R. S., a farmer, aged 46, with his wife and three children, moved last April to a farmhouse which had been long abandoned. They were all soon ill with what they believed to be influenza, suffering the conventional aches, pains and respiratory symptoms, but not calling a physician till all but one child had recovered. This child, a boy, aged 6, passed into a lethargic stupor, broken every few minutes by whining cries, which condition continued till death, seven days later. During this time their horses had distemper (as they said) and for a while were expected to die.
The boy's temperature was very irregular: 106 F. one day and normal the next The leukocyte count was
Duffie DH. UNDULANT (MALTA) FEVER: TWO FATAL CASES IN MICHIGAN. JAMA. 1926;87(22):1830-1831. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.92680220001012