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March 16, 1901


Author Affiliations

Clinical Instructor in Physical Diagnosis, Medico-Chirurgical College; Physician to the Samaritan Hospital. PHILADELPHIA.

JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(11):709-712. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.52470110011002b

In its symptomatic manifestations influenza is the hysteria of epidemic disease. Its puzzling obscurities, unique development, grotesque variations, distressing complications, and surprising sequels, make it paradoxically a type of the atypical in the class of infectious diseases, as is its functional analogue among the neuroses. No tissue seems too hidden; no structure, too strong; no function, too staple; no organ, too resistant, nor organism too robust to escape its Briarean grip.

This introductory arraignment is not stated as a proposition for subsequent proof—that is hardly necessary in the presence of practitioners, most of whom have already made a similar induction—but simply as a potential head from which the octopus-like tentacles grow, reach out, suck and sap their victims in the many ways more specifically referred to in what follows. My observations and deductions are based upon an analysis of 128 cases of influenza.

Onset.  —The type of onset most frequently

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