[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 10, 1948

Current Comment

JAMA. 1948;136(15):987. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890320031011

TRANSMISSION OF EPIDEMIC GASTROENTERITIS TO HUMAN VOLUNTEERS  In the summer and fall of 1946 outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis appear to have spread from hospitals in New York to state mental hospitals and prisons.1 During the next winter sizable outbreaks occurred in fifteen state institutions. In one institution the first cases were noted on December 16 and in about a month 589 cases with 7 deaths were observed in 2,623 inmates and 115 of 354 employees. The spread in this and other institutions was not apparently related to water, food or milk supply and seemed best explained by person to person infection. There are indications that the general population of upstate New York was also affected. The onset was sudden, with profuse, watery diarrhea, frequently with vomiting, usually without fever, the acute stage lasting on the average three days. Thorough examinations by bacteriologic and morphologic methods did not explain the