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October 2, 1937


JAMA. 1937;109(14):1128-1130. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780400044014

The probability that spirochetal jaundice, or Weil's disease, will become a disease of importance in this country has already been pointed out.1 Ample evidence of the widespread geographic distribution and actual hazard from the disease has appeared in many different journals. Three cases of Weil's disease were reported in 1937 for the first time in Canton, China.2 Zuelzer3 reviewed fourteen cases of the disease occurring in 1934 in Denmark. In thirteen of these there was definite icterus but, as she pointed out, only about 40 to 60 per cent of all patients with Weil's disease have recognizable icterus. From Japan, Germany, Austria, South America, France and Soviet Russia4 cases of the disease have also been reported. Davidson and his colleagues5 reported nineteen cases of spirochetal jaundice in fish workers in Aberdeen. Thirteen of these patients were employed definitely in the handling and cleaning of fish.