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August 7, 1954


JAMA. 1954;155(15):1365. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.03690330069017

Epidemic of Leishmaniasis.  —At a meeting of the Associação Paulista de Medicina, Dr. Samuel B. Pessoa of São Paulo reported a recent epidemic of kala-azar in the northern part of the state of Ceará, in the equatorial zone. Dr. Pessoa examined 52 patients, mainly from rural sections of Sobral county. The clinical findings were largely uniform; in general, the disease affected children, who showed a continuous temperature (100 to 102 F), with morning remission, anemia, marked splenomegaly, occasional hepatomegaly, and diarrhea or constipation. Some of the children were being treated with glucantime (Rhodia), and a few were almost cured. Others had not been treated. Smears of material from bone marrow and spleen revealed Leishmania donovani. With mixed serum from five patients, the formaldehyde (Formol) gel and the distilled water tests were performed with strongly positive results, gelling and clouding appearing after only a few minutes. Dr. Pessoa caught an adult

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