Malta fever in man was first described in the United States by Craig,1 in 1903. In Europe, the relation of the disease in man and in goats had been recognized for a long time, with Brucella melitensis as the infecting organism. Craig says: "There are no pathognomonic symptoms of Malta fever. The symptoms observed are so inconstant and confusing that no one of them can be said to be typical of the disease. A differential diagnosis is almost impossible in the majority of cases without the aid of the microscope and the serum test." A multitude of names have hence been used to describe the disease; according to Keefer,2 "undulant fever or febris undulans (from the wavelike accessions of fever); Malta, Maltese, Mediterranean, Gibraltar or "rock," Neopolitan and Cyprus fever (from the geographic distribution); slow, mountain continued, goat fever (in Texas and New Mexico); Mediterranean phthisis (from the
HULL TG, BLACK LA. UNDULANT FEVER AS A PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM. JAMA. 1927;88(7):463–464. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680330015006
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