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January 14, 1939

A Study of Epidemic Influenza: With Special Reference to the 1936-7 Epidemic

JAMA. 1939;112(2):176-177. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800020082034

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The authors have made careful studies of four small outbreaks of respiratory infections in which no virus was isolated and one widespread epidemic of influenza in which several strains of influenza virus were obtained. They correlated clinical symptoms in the various outbreaks but were unable to show a characteristic group of symptoms that would distinguish "epidemic influenza" from febrile catarrh. The latter third of the report discusses laboratory studies with the influenza virus. The section on isolation of the virus can be followed by those who wish to make experimental studies with the influenza virus. The section on antibodies in human serum is of academic interest. Efforts to immunize human volunteers with vaccine made from a highly virulent strain of virus were attempted. The authors concluded that "proof of the efficacy or uselessness of vaccination must await further trials in future epidemics."

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