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To the Editor:—
In regard to the article on the diagnosis of leprosy by Dr. Robert K. Maddock, in The Journal for Jan. 5, 1952 (page 44), I would like to say that for a few years following 1895 my father, Dr. Luis F. Alvarez, was in charge of research in leprosy in Hawaii. After studying at Johns Hopkins, he returned to Honolulu and built up a board of health research laboratory at Kalihi. There he worked for several years trying to find a remedy for leprosy.He soon devised a method that was highly successful in the diagnosis of the macular form of the disease. With a fine mouse-tooth forceps he would raise a tiny bit of the skin in a suspicious patch and snip it off with sharp scissors. He would drop this into a small mortar with a few drops of water, and, as a boy, it
Alvarez WC. DIAGNOSIS OF MACULAR LEPROSY. JAMA. 1952;148(8):668. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930080078026