The importance of the viruses of western1 and of eastern equine encephalomyelitis2 in the causation of human disease is now well established.
Meyer,3 shortly after the discovery of the western equine virus in 1930, described the occurrence of encephalitis in 3 persons who had cared for sick horses and he voiced the suspicion that human infections with this virus may occur.
In 1938 Eklund and Blumstein,4 investigating the occurrence of 6 human cases of encephalitis in Minnesota, found neutralizing antibodies to the western virus in the blood serum in 1 of 3 cases tested, and in the same year Howitt5 isolated the virus from the brain in a human case of encephalitis.
In 1941 the largest epidemic of encephalitis ever recorded occurred in and around North Dakota,6 which alone had 1,080 cases with ninety-six deaths, and the causative agent was shown to be the
LENNETTE EH, KOPROWSKI H. HUMAN INFECTION WITH VENEZUELAN EQUINE ENCEPHALOMYELITIS VIRUS: A REPORT ON EIGHT CASES OF INFECTION ACQUIRED IN THE LABORATORY. JAMA. 1943;123(17):1088–1095. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840520004002
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