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October 15, 1932


JAMA. 1932;99(16):1369-1370. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740680065026

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Typhus Fever and Plague in Central Europe  Dr. Dezsö Horvath, physician-in-chief at the National Public Hygiene Institution, has prepared a treatise on the spread of exotic diseases in central Europe since the armistice. In respect to typhus fever, he states that formerly this disease was called "morbus hungaricus," which is but natural since Hungary has been the battle ground of wars through several centuries. Where war is there is misery, overcrowding and lack of cleanliness, and misery and dirt are constantly followed by typhus. The four infectious diseases that follow wars—cholera, plague, smallpox and typhus—have claimed more lives than the wars themselves. The fact that from 1350 to 1700 Europe's population increased only from 100,100,000 to 110,000,000 is mainly due to infectious diseases, which raged in the wake of wars.The Serbian epidemic of 1915 claimed 135,000 lives out of 2,500,000 men, and according to reliable records every fifth man