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August 30, 1976

Medical News

JAMA. 1976;236(9):1001-1008. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270100003001

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Vast accumulation of data, study left in wake of `Legion disease  'The mysterious "Legion disease" appears to have vanished as quickly as it appeared.The first appearance of symptoms may have been as early as July 21 or 22, the opening days of the American Legion convention in Philadelphia.As far as onset of symptoms is concerned, the disease seems to have peaked between July 25 and 28. The first death occurred on July 27, and within a seven-day period there were 22 deaths. The last reported new case had onset of symptoms Aug 3, bringing the total to 169. At least 25 of these persons died, including three women. Health officials say the bellshaped morbidity curve indicates that there is a common source of the disease. The figures were expected to change as more data became available on the convention activities of the victims and their previous health records.