During the Spanish civil war, food and soap were scarce in the loyalist armies but plentiful on the rebel side. Typhus occurred among loyalist soldiers and volunteers, some of whom came from countries where the disease is endemic, but did not appear among the rebel soldiers.. After the war a shifting of population occurred among ex-soldiers and civilians, who returned to their homes in crowded trains or migrated to distant provinces to escape persecution. Then the present war broke out. Manpower became scarce, crops were poor and a large part of the population went to other countries. The economy of the nation collapsed, and typhus automatically appeared.
The first case occurred in Madrid in 1939, eight days after Franco's soldiers entered the town. Shortly afterward many more cases were observed in the southern provinces, where endemic foci had been recognized for a long time, and by July 1941 4,500 cases
TYPHUS IN SPAIN AND LATIN AMERICA. JAMA. 1944;124(8):510-511. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850080038012