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May 10, 1965

Health Problems of Hepatitis

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurological Surgery Temple University Medical Center Philadelphia

JAMA. 1965;192(6):575-576. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080190141038

To the Editor:—  The US Public Health Service reported 41,385 cases of infectious and serum hepatitis during 1964.1 This statistic establishes infectious and serum hepatitis together as the third most common notifiable infectious disease. No one knows how many thousands of patients contract the difficult-to-diagnose anicteric form. Little is known concerning the virus. There is no specific treatment. The illness is lengthy, the convalescence longer. We are often unaware of the severe financial loss to the family; the national loss also must be great.The medical profession should concentrate on prevention and research to identify the causative agent and develop inexpensive screening tests to detect carriers and aid early diagnosis. Prevention is possible now if we use our existing knowledge. It is generally agreed that infectious hepatitis is spread by polluted water. Our inland waters are being made unsafe by some owners of boats and summer homes, who see