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May 1949

Report of the Committee on Trachoma of the Second Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology,

Arch Ophthalmol. 1949;41(5):653. doi:10.1001/archopht.1949.00900040669016

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The president of the Second Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology appointed a committee on trachoma to collect information on the incidence of trachoma in the Americas. This committee consisted of Dr. Ivo Corrêa Meyer (president), Dr. José A. Sena, Dr. Jorge Valdeavellano, Dr. Phillips Thygeson and Dr. Polk Richards (who later resigned). This pamphlet is the substance of their report.

In the United States the Indians are believed to have been infected originally by the Spanish invaders, whereas in Canada the Mennonites are considered responsible. Indeed, wherever this sect has settled—whether in Canada or in South America—trachoma has soon become endemic. It seems that they consider the disease a divine punishment, and any attempt to treat it as a flouting of God's will. In the United States, it is estimated that there are 25,000 cases of trachoma among the Indians and 33,000 among other races spread throughout the country.


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