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March 22, 1947

Q FEVER IN THE UNITED STATESEpidemiologic Studies of an Outbreak Among Stock Handlers and Slaughterhouse Workers

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md.; Austin, Texas

From the Division of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Health (Drs. Topping and Shepard) and Director of Laboratories, Texas State Health Department (Dr. Irons).

JAMA. 1947;133(12):813-815. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880120001001

During the month of March 1946 there occurred in Amarillo, Texas, an explosive outbreak of an acute febrile illness which has since been identified as Q fever. The other papers in this series will give the details of the clinical features observed in the cases and the evidence on which the diagnosis of Q fever depends. It is the purpose of this report to give the background of the outbreak with descriptions of the industries involved as well as the sequence of events pertinent to the epidemiologic investigations.

Amarillo is a city of about 70,000 inhabitants located near the center of the Texas panhandle. It is surrounded by country well suited to the raising of livestock and thereby has become a center for this industry. Since the city is situated at the junction of several large railroads by which cattle are shipped to the east, a feeder station has been

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