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June 19, 1954


JAMA. 1954;155(8):754-762. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.03690260046015


Cranks' Calls and Letters.  —The Health Department of the City of Los Angeles reports that a "deadly game" is being played by a small antimedicine group, whose targets are parents searching for dogs that bit their children. Following press descriptions of the possibly rabid animals, parents are besieged by anonymous nuisance calls, the telephone is tied up for long periods of time, and they become fearful they will miss the call from someone who has located the biting dog. Dr. George M. Uhl, city health officer, states that "because they also fear violence from the callers, who berate physicians, decry the Pasteur treatment, and even deny the existence of rabies, they permit the crank calls to continue. One family received, in addition to the interminable phone calls, more than 50 crank letters. Not only do the callers sometimes insult parents, but they also frighten the child, whom they often

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