July 19, 1971

Epidemic Sporotrichosis

Author Affiliations

Kansas City, Kan
Shawnee Mission, Kan

JAMA. 1971;217(3):340. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190030064021

To the Editor.—  Two epidemics of sporotrichosis have recently been reported. Nine children were infected while playing in tunnels of stacked bales of prairie hay,1 and six college freshmen were infected by contact with contaminated moss, soil, and straw used as brick packing.2 The combination of unusual circumstances roused the physicians' Muse, and rhymed verse soon appeared in The Journal entertainingly warning of the dangers of the "tricky Sporothrix"3 and the pitfalls of its nomenclature.4Coincident with the outburst of articles and poems, two additional cases of sporotrichosis related to prairie hay were observed. Three sisters ages 5, 7, and 12 years, spent one day (Jan 24, 1971) playing and burrowing in a stack of prairie hay on a relative's farm in eastern Kansas. Approximately ten days later, the oldest girl developed an erythematous papule just below her lower lip and the youngest girl developed a