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September 28, 1918


Author Affiliations

(San Francisco) Surgeon, U. S. N. R. F.; (Rosedale, Kan.) Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Navy EUROPE

From the Medical Service of U. S. Navy Base Hospital No. 2.

JAMA. 1918;71(13):1056-1058. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.26020390007013a

The present epidemic of a disease which in its clinical aspects resembles influenza is the most extensive of its kind since the great pandemic of 1889-1890. For several months frequent references have been made in foreign newspapers and medical journals to the prevalence of this epidemic in Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain and Ireland. On the western front both armies seem to have been sufferers. As an example of its military importance, 1,439 cases occurred in a military camp within three weeks,1 and this appears to have been no very unusual record.

Concerning the infectious cause of the present influenza epidemic there is no unanimity of opinion. The Pfeiffer influenza bacillus has been isolated from a varying proportion of patients; but many observers have failed to find this organism with any regularity.2 It is quite possible, indeed, that this organism is not responsible either for the present