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July 5, 1947


JAMA. 1947;134(10):876. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880270036009

The erroneous concept still is prevalent that brucellosis is a regressive, rare and self-limited disease. Infection of nonimmune persons must be expected to continue as long as infected food is ingested or there is contact with infected cattle, goats, swine, sheep or horses. Some idea of the importance of the existing problem can be gained from statistics compiled for the state of Iowa, where 638 cases were reported in 1946.1 Histories obtained in 96 per cent of the cases showed direct contact of the patient with hogs and cows before the recognized onset of the illness in 74 per cent. The remaining 26 per cent were assumed to have contracted the disease through ingestion of unpasteurized dairy products.

The total number of cases reported in the United States has averaged about 4,000 yearly for the past several years. Only the relatively severe acute illnesses are diagnosed and reported. Chronic

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