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March 17, 1951


Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.

From the Division of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.

JAMA. 1951;145(11):785-789. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920290011003

Numerous surveys by many physicians would suggest that amebiasis occurs in 5 to 10 per cent of the population of the United States. The suggestion1 that 20 per cent of the American people are infected by Endamoeba histolytica probably indicates too high an incidence. The disease is universal in its distribution over the globe. This has been known for many years, as witnessed by the early literature on the disease, but emphasis of this fact was forcibly brought to physicians' attention during the outbreak in Chicago in 1933. Consciousness of its presence by the everyday practitioner of medicine is of the greatest importance. The control of water supplies, proper food handling and elimination of insects that are transmitters of the causative agent constitute important steps in the eradication of this serious disease.

The importance of these statements cannot be overemphasized, and their emphasis and reemphasis may go a long