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October 18, 1941


JAMA. 1941;117(16):1361-1363. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820420053018

The largest encephalitis epidemic of record has just ended. According to a recent report by Leake,1 there were 1,080 cases and 96 deaths in North Dakota, 815 cases in Minnesota, 180 cases in South Dakota, 64 cases in Montana, 250 cases in Nebraska and 434 cases in Manitoba. The highest incidence was 167 per hundred thousand in North Dakota and the highest fatality rate was 16 per cent in Nebraska. Symptoms of this epidemic have been similar to those described for the St. Louis type of infectious encephalitis and for those described by Hammon2 for the encephalitis in the Yakima Valley. Mosquitoes have been potentially incriminated as the vectors. Leake points out that there is likely to be a reservoir or reservoirs other than man or horses if mosquitoes are responsible for transmission. In a preliminary report on this subject, Cox, Jellison and Hughes3 of the United

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