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May 29, 1915


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1915;LXIV(22):1805-1810. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570480001001

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There are medical historians who find evidence of the existence of typhus fever among the ancient Hebrews and their contemporaries, but this is a matter of conjecture. While this disease has long been known as morbus pauperum associated with want and famine, we must not infer that it is the only fever which develops and thrives among the needy and in times of scarcity of food and other privations. Poverty and overcrowding favor the development and distribution of many infections. Some of the cases reported by Hippocrates in his book on epidemics are certainly suggestive of typhus. The following is the report of a case, now believed to have been typhus, made by Hippocrates, as translated by Adams:

In Thasus the wife of Dealces, who was lodged on the plain, from sorrow was seized with an acute fever, attended with chills. From first to last she wrapped herself up in

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