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April 6, 1907


JAMA. 1907;XLVIII(14):1186-1187. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02520400038005

Notwithstanding the immense amount of investigation devoted to it, the etiology of the acute exanthemata still remains more or less of a mystery. It is true that in certain diseases, variola and scarlet fever for example, supposed protozoan parasites have been described which are thought to bear an etiologic relationship to these diseases. It can not be said, however, that these parasites have been generally accepted as the true causes of the diseases in question, for they have not yet been shown to be constantly associated with the lesions, and some observers even question their parasitic nature and regard them, like the so-called cancer parasites, as peculiar cell inclusions. In the case of scarlet fever the Cyclaster scarlatinalis of Mallory has not been generally accepted, for while some have conceded its parasitic nature others have denied this. The question of the etiology of this disease is still under discussion, and

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