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July 10, 1943


JAMA. 1943;122(11):746-747. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840280030011

The etiology of the disease or diseases commonly called catarrhal jaundice, infective jaundice or infective hepatitis is not at all well understood. While frequently epidemic, it is not clear how it is spread. There is no evidence that water, milk, food or rodents serve as spreaders. The facts at hand point to droplet infection and close personal contact as the means of spreading. As yet a definite etiologic agent has not been found. This is true also in the case of the jaundice that may follow the injection of human blood, plasma or serum, either when used alone, as in transfusion and in treatment with convalescent serum, or as until recently in certain yellow fever vaccines.1 All the forms of human serum jaundice so far recognized are discussed in full detail in a recent special memorandum by medical officers of the British Ministry of Health.2 It appears highly