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August 20, 1938

Current Comment

JAMA. 1938;111(8):716. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790340052017

OUTBREAK OF GASTRO-ENTERITIS IN MILWAUKEE AND VICINITY  During February 1938, according to a report of the Wisconsin State Board of Health,1 about 4.5 per cent of the population of Milwaukee was attacked by acute gastro-enteritis. The onset of an attack was usually abrupt and generally accompanied by nausea or vomiting and followed by abdominal pain, diarrhea or both. Vomiting usually subsided after a few hours, while diarrhea often persisted for from a few hours to a week. The stools of the patients had no striking characteristics. The incubation period, according to available evidence, varied from six hours to six days but most commonly was from one to two days. The outbreak apparently became definitely established about February 7 and waned after February 21. It involved surrounding communities as far north as Port Washington and as far south as Kenosha. Epidemiologic investigation served to eliminate in a reasonably staisfactory manner

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