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Article
February 1, 1958

RESPIRATORY DEATHS ASSOCIATED WITH ASIAN INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC: REPORT OF TWENTY-THREE CASES

Author Affiliations

Denver

From the Department of Pathology, Denver General Hospital, and Coroner's Office, City and County of Denver. Dr. Herrmann is a trainee, National Cancer Institute.

JAMA. 1958;166(5):467-471. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.02990050037007
Abstract

Twenty-three consecutive cases of unexplained, unusual, or unattended deaths were reported to the Denver coroner's office from Oct. 3 to Oct. 20, 1957. An acute respiratory inflammation was considered to be the cause of death. The primary complaint in eight cases was symptoms suggesting severe respiratory disease; in four cases, symptoms suggesting minor respiratory disease; and in six cases there was a definite history of "flu," although this was mostly a diagnosis made by relatives. In most of the cases, there were laryngeal, tracheal, and bronchial inflammatory changes in excess of what was to be expected in the usual sudden or unattended deaths due to acute respiratory inflammation commonly seen. Bacteriological studies recovered pneumococci and micrococci in 17 of the cases. The question of antibiotic therapy of influenza is raised particularly in patients suffering from other diseases.

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