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December 11, 1943


Author Affiliations

U.S.N.R.; U.S.N.R.

JAMA. 1943;123(15):944-946. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840500008002

Prosecution of the war in tropical climates has not only stimulated interest in parasitology and tropical medicine but also, coincidentally, ramified the field of psychosomatic medicine. Diseases which only a few years ago were labeled "rare and exotic" are beginning to rival the more familiar illnesses for preferential medical consideration.

Many observers have noticed the mood disturbance associated with the acute phases of tropical parasitic infestation. Particularly is this true of filariasis. As with all systemic infections, there are fatigue, irritability, mild depression and anxiety. However, in addition there is a pervading element of apprehension and concern in the case of white troops which is absent in the infested native population. The cause of this is obvious on inquiry into the setting and circumstances in which this disease has occurred in the members of the armed forces.

The great majority of troops stationed in the South Pacific islands are young