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October 1959

The Disease Called "Wildfire"

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology, The College of Medical Evangelists.

AMA Arch Derm. 1959;80(4):391-397. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560220001001

The purpose of this paper is to describe some interesting features about the endemic pemphigus of central South America. This disease presents some special problems in classification, diagnosis, and therapy. Yet, in general, its care is somewhat similar to the care of serious dermatoses occurring in other parts of the world.

An application of hydrotherapy to the treatment of this endemic disease is described, and the results of this form of therapy are compared with other treatments also in use. My personal observations while in Brazil form the basis for most of the material used.

There is a legend in certain limited parts of central Brazil that some of the savages living there were able to transfer this strange disease to their enemies by blowing it on them. The Brazilian expression ``fogo salvagem'' literally means uncontrolled fire in much the same way that the word "wildfire" brings to mind

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