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September 2, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(10):916-917. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800350026008

Ordinarily acute catarrhal jaundice is not considered to be a communicable disease, although it is stated in Cecil's Textbook of Medicine1 that it is occasionally seen in epidemic form. At present there is some confusion as to the terminology of the disease in question. Until research on this disease has made the etiologic agent definitely known, it would seem that the term "acute infectious jaundice" would be the most desirable. The disease is often confused with Weil's disease, which is also known as epidemic jaundice, infectious jaundice and leptospirosis, so that the term acute infectious jaundice would serve to distinguish this from true epidemic jaundice (leptospirosis) and would also serve to differentiate it from the sporadic cases of acute catarrhal jaundice due to inflammatory swelling around the opening of the common bile duct into the duodenum. It has been reported1 that this disease was epidemic in Gallipoli during