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July 25, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVII(4):216-217. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430820044008

The recent discovery by Surgeon-Captain Bruce of the Indian army that the tsetse fly of Africa acts as the carrier of living virus is of interest from a double standpoint: First, to the student of human and comparative pathology, in clearing up the origin of a mysterious disease; and, second, as furnishing another instance of an insect carrier of contagion. For the last fifty years, from the time of Livingstone, successive travelers have regaled us with accounts of the ravages of this fly. We learn that it is a terrible scourge to live stock and that it is one of the greatest obstacles to colonization in the central part of the "dark continent." The tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans) is slightly larger than the common house fly; it has a slender proboscis, nearly twice as long as its head, and is able to puncture with great force. Its bite is fatal