Influenza, la grippe or epidemic catarrhal fever may be defined as a specific epidemic and contagious disease, caused by a specific bacillus. This disease spreads rapidly over wide districts of country, causing marked febrile symptoms, is often attended by serious complications and causes great and prolonged prostration of strength.
Various epidemics of influenza are on record, Parks tracing it back to the ninth century. The first epidemic in England was reported in 1510, and in the United States in 1647 and at various periods down to the present times. The epidemic described in 1847, in England, was very much like we now find it in America. It has been more prevalent since 1890 than during any previous decade, having spread nearly all over the country in 1890, in April and May, 1891, and in the winter of 1891-92. Only a few cases were reported during the winters of 1892 and
GILCREEST JE. LA GRIPPE. JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(24):1461–1464. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450760017001c
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