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August 7, 1909

An Island Without Flies

Author Affiliations

Late Major and Brigade Surgeon, U. S. V.

JAMA. 1909;LIII(6):470. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02550060046015

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To the Editor:  —The handbook prepared for the U. S. Army of Invasion of Porto Rico, stated that the house fly did not exist on the island, but that a fly called vomitorum (Musca vomitorum) did exist there, and if one fly was accidentally swallowed, it caused immediate vomiting. After two years spent on the island, the writer states this experience: The house fly accompanied the American Army to the island, and was as numerous in the camps there as in the camps in the United States in the summer of 1898. When the Army left the island the flies disappeared. There were almost no flies to be seen on the island in the summers of 1899 and 1900. I never saw the Musca vomitorum, nor heard any one on the island mention them. It is also of interest that the flies which so much annoy horses and cattle by

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