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January 1933


Author Affiliations

From the Research Laboratories of the Sub-Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, and the Hospital for Sick Children, and from the Connaught Laboratories.

Am J Dis Child. 1933;45(1):1-17. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1933.01950140011001

In centuries far removed from the present, Greek writers1 described gastro-intestinal disturbances or diseases accompanied by diarrhea to which adults and children were subject, especially at certain seasons of the year. Due emphasis was placed on the serious nature of these diseases, particularly among children. English and French physicians2 of the eighteenth century observed the high mortality in young children brought about by such diseases, which they also recognized as having a seasonal incidence. Descriptive names that have long since become obsolete were applied by these men to the diseases; quaint theories were advanced to explain their cause, and heroic measures instituted to effect cures.

In 1777, in America, Benjamin Rush3 recognized that there existed in towns along the Atlantic Coast a serious gastro-intestinal disease confined chiefly to children under 2 years of age. This disease, which was most prevalent in summer, had been unknown to the