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April 27, 1907


JAMA. 1907;XLVIII(17):1436. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02520430048005

The introduction of the brown-tail moth, Porthesia chrysorrhæa, into Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and its almost certain spread into neighboring states, needs comment at this particular time, as summer is approaching, and the peculiar skin eruption resulting from contact with the insect has not yet become widely known in the United States. The results of the action of certain poisonous plants of the Rhus family are widely known both by the laity and the profession, but even physicians have not yet become acquainted with the irritant effects produced by these moths and their caterpillars.

The knowledge of skin rashes due to caterpillars dates back to the time of the ancients; in modern times the matter has been commented on mainly by the entomologists, who, in making their collections, have occasionally been poisoned. In recent years the attention given to nature study, even in the primary schools, has rendered the collection

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