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October 30, 1943


JAMA. 1943;123(9):563. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840440045013

The progress of medical science and of modern methods of sanitation have thus far proved adequate to prevent major epidemics in this war. In the past, epidemics took a greater toll both among the belligerents and among civilians than did weapons of war. Bubonic plague, cholera and smallpox seem today to belong to a distant past. Minor outbreaks of typhus may be expected among the underfed, vermin infested populations, but these can be readily controlled by methods of delousing, preventive vaccination and general quarantine measures. The most important military medical problem of the present war is malaria.

According to Stitt and Strong,1 malaria by its prevalence is most important of all diseases in the world today. While the mortality and morbidity caused by this disease cannot be estimated closely, Russell2 ventures, on such data as are available, that there are not less than three million deaths from malaria