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An outbreak of rabies in Chicago has emphasized the importance of mustering all knowledge of the disease and its control for a realistic attack on the problem. Unfortunately it is commoner than generally believed. Furthermore, it is found in many animals other than dogs and foxes, including cattle, skunks, cats, horses, squirrels, sheep and other warm-blooded creatures.
Rabies is one of the oldest diseases known to mankind. It was mentioned in the Pre-Mosaic codes of Biblical peoples and described with amazing accuracy by Democritus, Aristotle, and Celsus. The causative agent was first found in the saliva of rabid dogs by Zincke in 1804, and a few years later Magendie and Bouchet were able to infect dogs with the saliva from human patients with this disease. The greatest contribution to the knowledge of rabies was the classical work of Pasteur with his famous nerve tissue studies and the modification of the
THE RABIES PROBLEM. JAMA. 1954;154(10):836-837. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940440034012