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September 19, 1966

Current Viruses May Surprise Us

JAMA. 1966;197(12):49. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110120025008

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Any of the arthropod-borne vivi- ruses not associated with human disease "could one day surprise us as the cause of important epidemics," Albert B. Sabin, MD, warned a Chicago symposium.

Dr. Sabin's paper, read in his absence to The Symposium on the Child at the University of Chicago School of Medicine, emphasized:

  • New syndromes such as severe hemorrhagic disease of children seen recently in The Philippines and

  • Thailand may be caused by familiar viruses ( in this situation largely by the four known serologic types of dengue virus).

  • Isolation of new viruses ( O'nyong-nyong and Chikungunya in Africa; others in India, Argentina, and Bolivia) further underline the need for virologists to investigate new epidemics or unique syndromes of infectious disease.

  • New antigenic variants can appear, as in the Asian influenza pandemic of less than a decade ago.

  • Viruses usually found only in healthy people or not definitely associated