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November 15, 1919


JAMA. 1919;73(20):1532. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610460050017

The rôle of insects in the transmission of disease is becoming more prominent each year. The fly, the mosquito, the flea and the louse have come to represent not merely irritating and offensive nuisances which interfere with the comfort of man but also positive menaces to his very existence in a state of unimpaired health. Features of insect life, such as the habits, migration, reproduction and distribution of these lowly forms of animals, are no longer the concern of the scientific entomologist alone; they also inevitably interest the medical investigator and the sanitary expert. It almost seems as if no item respecting the behavior of insects can be neglected in microbe-bearing species.

Lice are sensitive to temperatures that approach the body temperature of man. Nuttall1 has observed that a rise to 35 C. (95 F.) may be distinctly inimical to these insects. Owing to the high temperature near the body