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June 12, 1967

Surveillance of Respiratory Virus Infections Among Alaskan Eskimo Children

Author Affiliations

From the Epidemiology Section, Arctic Health Research Laboratory, Anchorage, Alaska (Dr. Maynard and Mr. Feltz); the Ecological Investigations Program, National Communicable Disease Center, Kansas City, Kan (Drs. Wulff, Poland, and Chin); and the Division of Indian Health, Alaska Native Hospital, Bethel (Dr. Fortuine).

JAMA. 1967;200(11):927-931. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120240055008

During the winter of 1966, surveillance of acute virusassociated respiratory disease was undertaken among Eskimo children resident at Bethel, Alaska. Combined serologic and isolation studies revealed evidence of viral association in 48 (75%) of the cases. A respiratory syncytial virus outbreak and a mixed influenza A2 and B epidemic occurred during the study period. Evidence of simultaneous infection with influenza A2 and B viruses was obtained in 13 children. Other isolations included parainfluenza virus types 1 and 3, adenovirus types 2 and 5, rhinovirus, and herpes simplex virus. Virus transport medium consisting of tryptose phosphate broth with 0.5% gelatin and 1% chicken serum proved suitable for isolation of respiratory syncytial virus, despite one cycle of freeze-thaw with storage at —70 C for as long as ten days prior to attempts at viral isolation.