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December 14, 1918

A RECENT EPIDEMIC OF ACUTE RESPIRATORY INFECTION AT CAMP CUSTER, MICH.PRELIMINARY LABORATORY REPORT

Author Affiliations

(Richmond, Va.) Captain, M. C., U. S. Army; (Chicago) Lieutenant-Colonel, M. C., U. S. Army CAMP CUSTER, BATTLE CREEK, MICH.

JAMA. 1918;71(24):1988-1991. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.26020500014006d
Abstract

From a knowledge of what other camps were experiencing with the epidemic of so-called "influenza," and in anticipation of an outbreak of a similar infection in this camp, certain preliminary bacteriologic work was attempted. Several days before any cases of influenza were reported at Camp Custer, a study was begun to determine the prevalent mouth flora of healthy individuals. For this purpose cultures were made from the throats of enlisted men of the Fourteenth Sanitary Train. Smears and cultures on plain blood agar plates were made from the nose and nasopharynx; in all, 357 cultures were taken. The usual mouth organisms were recovered. In addition, 75 per cent. of the cultures showed a hemolyzing streptococcus. In only five cases, or in a little more than 1 per cent., was the influenza bacillus identified. Before these studies could be extended, the epidemic broke. However, this much was apparent: A high percentage

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