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June 29, 1957


JAMA. 1957;164(9):974. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980090028009

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During the past few weeks, public health officials have been carefully following the progress of influenza epidemics in the Orient. The disease was seen first in Hong Kong and Singapore. Then, in rapid succession, almost simultaneous epidemics have occurred in Taiwan, the Philippines, the Malayan States, Indonesia, Japan, and India. A number of sharp outbreaks were reported aboard commercial and U. S. naval vessels. The presence of American military laboratories located near these areas, notably the Army's 406 Medical General Laboratory in Japan, provided unique circumstances for study of the epidemiology of this disease and for comparisons between various population groups. These opportunities have been well exploited by the U. S. Army Medical Service.

Unusually high attack rates have been noted, with an average estimated to be 19% in the Philippines, although in individual communities higher attack rates have been reported. The clinical description is typical of the influenza seen

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