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August 31, 1957


JAMA. 1957;164(18):2029-2033. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980180031008

• The situation with respect to Asian influenza is unique in that the causative virus has been isolated before the disease itself appeared in the United States. Intensive study of past experience makes it seem probable that this disease will continue to spread during the rest of the summer but will not be highly epidemic in the United States until fall or winter, when outbreaks are anticipated. Although it is impossible to make any firm predictions at this time, it is unlikely that the virulence of the infection, as manifested in case-mortality rates, will be higher in the later outbreaks. The present epidemic, with its rapidity of spread and high attack rate, is sufficiently unusual to press for immunization against the new virus. As a properly constituted vaccine is the only preventive, its use should be encouraged as soon as it becomes available.