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March 22, 1941


JAMA. 1941;116(12):1222-1223. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820120036011

Apparently Weir and Horsfall1 of the International Health Laboratories, New York, have been able to isolate and identify the specific virus of the disease variously known as "acute pneumonitis,"2 "acute diffuse bronchiolitis"3 or "capillary pneumonia." Five years ago Bowen4 described this disease, which he termed "acute influenza pneumonitis." Since then, epidemics have been reported with increasing frequency in a half dozen American states as well as in England and France, from which it is apparent that the disease can assume pandemic proportions. "Acute pneumonitis" is characterized by a remarkably high morbidity and in some institutions or localities over 50 per cent of all persons have contracted the disease. Primarily it is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, usually limited to the nose, pharynx and larynx but occasionally extending to the trachea and bronchi and in a few cases to the bronchioles and