That relapsing fever "has been rarely observed in the United States," as recently stated by Neilson,1 is not exactly true, particularly as concerns California and Nevada. Endemic foci at Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains some 60 miles east of Los Angeles and at Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains about 50 miles from Reno, Nev., have been known for a number of years. About twelve years ago Dr. Charles W. Bonynge demonstrated the spirochetes (Borrelia recurrentis) of relapsing fever in blood smears of a patient from Big Bear Lake at one of the monthly meetings of the Los Angeles Pathological Society, and the members present were impressed by the rarity of cases at that time.
Since 1933 we have seen about half a dozen patients with relapsing fever each summer here in Reno, nearly all the patients acquiring the infection at Lake Tahoe, where the
Morrison SK, Parsons L. RELAPSING FEVER: REPORT OF THREE CASES, ONE IN A SIX DAY OLD INFANT. JAMA. 1941;116(3):220–221. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.62820030001010a
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