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November 5, 1955


Author Affiliations

New Orleans; South Bend, Ind.; Atlanta, Ga.; New Orleans

Assistant Professor in the departments of public health and preventive medicine and pediatrics, Louisiana State University School of Medicine (Dr. Sappenfield); City Health Officer (Dr. Carter); Acting Director, South Bend Medical Foundation (Dr. Culbertson); Senior Scientist (Dr. Brooke) and Senior Assistant Surgeon (Dr. Payne), Communicable Disease Center, Public Health Service; and Professor of Tropical Medicine and Dean, Louisiana State University School of Medicine (Dr. Frye).

JAMA. 1955;159(10):1009-1012. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960270029008

An outbreak of amebiasis occurred in South Bend, Ind., during 1953.1 This was the third reported outbreak of this disease involving a civilian population within the United States.2 In all three of these outbreaks, which occurred in the Great Lakes region, investigations revealed a contaminated water supply to be the most probable source of infection. The South Bend epidemic was restricted to the employees of a woodworking plant. A random sample of employees revealed 51% of the group sampled to be infected with Endamoeba histolytica. Approximately 800 of the 1,500 employees were presumed to be infected, on the basis of the sample taken. The plant's source of water was changed from a private well to the municipal system to avoid the possibility of further spread if the water supply proved to be the source of infection. After preliminary studies by representatives of the local medical society, state and

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