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December 18, 1943


Author Affiliations

New York. General Director of Laboratories, Department of Hospitals, City of New York.

JAMA. 1943;123(16):1066. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840510060019

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To the Editor:—  According to the observations of Dietrich (Deutsche med. Wchnschr. 68:1 [Jan. 2] 1942), catarrhal icterus and epidemic hepatitis are probably identical diseases of virus origin and, although their course is usually benign, they may lead to cirrhosis or to acute yellow atrophy of the liver. In almost every war in the last hundred and fifty years epidemics of jaundice have been observed among soldiers. In the present as in previous wars it has been noted that this form of jaundice occurs chiefly during the fall and early winter months. An editorial in The Journal (November 6, p. 636) comments on apparently the same variety of epidemic jaundice observed among troops by Cameron and by Van Rooyen and Gordon. The disease is characterized by abdominal discomfort, an irregular type of fever, jaundice, clay colored stools, absence of leukocytosis and recovery. Animal inoculation experiments are negative.At this

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