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Article
June 1939

Syphilis and Yaws in Guatemala: Chapter 10 of a Medical Survey of the Republic of Guatemala

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1939;39(6):1104. doi:10.1001/archderm.1939.01480240152022

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Abstract

The chapter under consideration deals with the incidence of syphilis and yaws in the natives of Guatemala. The population consists mainly of two races—the pure-blooded and nearly pure-blooded descendants of the aboriginal Indian tribes and the Spanish-Indian crossbred or mixed races, called Latins. Based on clinical and serologic investigations, the author (in collaboration with Dr. Helen Curth) found that the incidence of syphilis is nearly twice among the Latins what it is among the Indians. The proportion of complete clinical latency is high in both races but higher in the Indians. In the latter there is conspicuous scarcity of clinical evidence of syphilis, pointing toward probable immunologic peculiarities inherent in aborigines.

In Guatemala City the survey indicated a high percentage of syphilis. Neurologic lesions are not rare. Among the native Indian races a survey made by Dr. Estevez showed only 1 per cent of infections. In the highlands of Guatemala

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