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August 25, 1975

Vietnamese Refugees

Author Affiliations

Bakersfield, Calif

JAMA. 1975;233(8):864. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260080018011

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To the Editor.—  There has been increasing concern and discussion about possible health hazards that might be brought to this country by the large number of Vietnamese refugees currently being processed in various centers in the United States. I wish to call attention to a different type of health hazard, one faced by the refugees themselves rather than their hosts.Approximately 18,000 of the Vietnamese are awaiting relocation at Camp Pendleton in southern California. This base has for many years been known as an area of fairly high incidence for coccidioidomycosis. The late spring is one of the highest incidence periods of the year. All of us have seen pictures of the refugees being housed in open areas in tents, with children playing in the bare dirt outside. It is this intermingling of susceptible hosts in an endemic natural habitat that produces a considerable amount of disease among the Marine