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December 29, 1962

Epidemiologic and Sociologic Features of A Large Urban Outbreak of Shigellosis

Author Affiliations

Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha
From the Kansas City Field Station, Communicable Disease Center, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Kansas City, Kan., and the Omaha-Douglas County Health Department, Omaha.; Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Kansas City Field Station (Dr. Mosley), Preventable Disease Officer, Omaha-Douglas County Health Department (Miss Adams), and Health Director, Omaha-Douglas County Health Department (Dr. Lyman).

JAMA. 1962;182(13):1307-1311. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050520005002

An outbreak of 87 bacteriologically confirmed cases of shigellosis occurred from September 1961 through January 1962 in 41 households and one nursing home in Omaha, Neb. Forty-three of these cases occurred in children under 5 years of age. The clinical picture varied from a prostrating illness terminating fatally in a 2-year-old child to asymptomatic infections. The majority of the infected households were concentrated in a low socioeconomic, predominantly nonwhite area of the city, where epidemiological investigation demonstrated person to person transmission. Correlations with household congestion and dilapidation by census tract revealed the attack rate to be directly associated with poor environmental living conditions.