In the summer of 1933 an epidemic of acute encephalitis occurred in the St. Louis (Missouri) area. From August to November of that year there were 1,097 cases. A filtrable virus isolated from brain tissue of fatal cases was studied1 extensively and was identified as the etiologic agent. In the summer of 1937 a second outbreak of acute encephalitis occurred in the St. Louis area. There were 750 cases, and a virus isolated from human brain tissue taken at autopsy was found to be immunologically identical with the infectious agent isolated in 1933. The occurrence of sporadic cases of this disease since 1937 indicates the existence of an endemic focus, a fact of considerable importance from an epidemiologic point of view.
Each year patients are admitted to the St. Louis Children's Hospital with symptoms and signs of acute encephalitis. Clinically it is difficult, if not impossible, to differentiate the
BLATTNER RJ, HEYS FM. ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS: OCCURRENCE IN CHILDREN IN THE ST. LOUIS AREA DURING NONEPIDEMIC YEARS 1939-1944. JAMA. 1945;129(13):854–857. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860470014004
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