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September 28, 1940

Current Comment

JAMA. 1940;115(13):1104. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810390044015

PLAGUE IN THE UNITED STATES  The first recorded appearance of plague in the United States occurred in San Francisco on March 6, 1900. In reviewing developments in this country since that time, Hampton1 points out that human cases of the disease have been reported in eight states in the following chronologic order: California 1900, Washington 1907, Louisiana 1914, Florida 1920, Texas 1920, Oregon 1934, Utah 1936 and Nevada 1937 (the last human case was reported from Millard County, Utah, on Dec. 4, 1939). In all, 499 human cases with 314 deaths were recorded between 1900 and Jan. 1, 1940. Between 1934 and 1939, however, only fifteen cases of plague with six deaths have been reported in the United States, and all of these but four cases and one death occurred in California. This record exists in spite of the fact that plague infection has been demonstrated in fourteen species