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December 13, 1930

RELAPSING FEVER IN CENTRAL TEXAS

Author Affiliations

Austin, Texas

JAMA. 1930;95(24):1834-1835. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.27210240001013

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Abstract

Relapsing fever, or African tick fever, prevailed in epidemic proportions in New York and Philadelphia during the year 1869; Meader has since reported five cases from Bear Creek Canyon, Colorado. Available literature discloses no other mention of this disease in the United States. Therefore, these cases may be of interest.

Four boys, aged about 16, explored a cave in the Colorado River valley, seventy-five miles above Austin. On emerging, they noticed attached to their legs several small ticks, which easily brushed off. Exactly six days from this time, three of the boys developed malaise, leg ache, headache, and elevation of temperature. The fever rapidly mounted to 103 or 104 F., the pains in the head and body became more severe, and a persistent sensation of chilliness, with nausea and vomiting, added to their discomfort. The blood showed a moderate leukocytosis, from 13,000 to 14,000 cells per cubic millimeter with a

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