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Article
January 9, 1926

AN OUTBREAK OF FOOD POISONING PROBABLY DUE TO "RAT VIRUS"

Author Affiliations

MORGANTOWN, W. VA.
From the Department of Hygiene and Bacteriology, West Virginia University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1926;86(2):109-111. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670280029009
Abstract

A typical outbreak of gastro-enteritis was reported. Oct. 23, 1924. The cases were restricted to about 140 persons of 225 eating regularly at the dining room of the women's hall of West Virginia University. Of 193 girl students questioned, 124 were affected with an acute gastro-enteritis, preceded by cramps, chills and fever, and vomiting, and accompanied by muscular pains, diarrhea and prostration. All made a prompt and uneventful recovery. The earliest case reported began at midnight Monday, October 20. Other cases followed rapidly, 109 cases being reported on Tuesday, thirteen on Wednesday, and one mild and atypical case on Thursday. On Wednesday, forty-five girls were prostrated in bed. The peak was between noon and 6 p. m. Tuesday, when thirty-three cases were reported. Subsequent study based on written questionnaires traced the source of trouble beyond reasonable doubt to the Monday noon meal.

During the period of a week preceding to

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