Twenty-five cases of human anthrax, reported to the state department of health in four months, constitute the severest outbreak of this disease ever recorded in Massachusetts. A clinical and epidemiologic study of these cases has revealed some interesting facts as to the sources and modes of infection, methods of prevention and treatment of this disease.
—While twenty-three of the twenty-five reported cases were in persons handling hides, the most interesting group consists of twenty cases which were infected from a common source. An analysis of the early reports showed that the infection seemed to be confined to the workers in three tanneries located in adjoining towns. Further study revealed the fact that every one of the persons infected had been handling dried "China" hides.To find a common source of hide supply for three rival tanneries seemed hopeless. The key to the situation was discovered in the characteristic trade
BROWN WH, SIMPSON CE. HUMAN ANTHRAX: REPORT OF AN OUTBREAK AMONG TANNERY WORKERS. JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(8):608–609. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270020272007
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