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February 14, 1948


JAMA. 1948;136(7):472. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890240038009

Kala-azar, although highly endemic in the Mediterranean littoral, India and China, was not a serious military problem in World War II. Some 75 cases of the disease were recorded in the American army during the war; no doubt but few cases will be recognized in this country. The clinical course, diagnosis and treatment of kala-azar were summarized in a recent article by Major Harry Most and Capt. Paul H. Lavietes1 on the basis of 30 patients treated for the disease at Moore General Hospital, Swannanoa, N. C., a tropical disease center. The incubation period in kala-azar has not been definitely established. The shortest incubation period in their series1 was three weeks, and the longest, thirty-three months. The onset of the disease is characterized by abruptness, chills and high fever in the majority of patients. The fever is intermittent, with one or two rises to 101 to 106 F.