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November 23, 1935


JAMA. 1935;105(21):1687-1688. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760470041016

The extraordinary conditions of drought in parts of Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma, which gave rise to dust storms of unprecedented intensity and duration from February to May of this year, received wide interest and publicity. A study of the possible effect on health of these dust storms has recently been published.1 April 29 a "dust conference" was held at Liberal, Kan., the approximate center of the "dust bowl." State health officers from Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas were present. At this time a comparison of morbidity and mortality for certain of the acute infectious diseases showed similar increases in the three states. Considerable interest was expressed in the bacterial and chemical content of the dust. Two of the Kansas sanitary and public health officials made trips into the dust area and exposed agar plates to secure an index of the number of micro-organisms present in the air