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Sept 1961

Epidemic Phlebodynia

Author Affiliations


From the Billings Clinic (Dr. Brosius), Billings, Mont.; Laurel, Mont. (Dr. Calvert); and the Kansas City Field Station, Communicable Disease Center (Dr. Chin), Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Kansas City, Kan.

Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(3):442-447. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620090114014

In a two-year period, April, 1957, to April, 1959, 11 nurses and an x-ray technician at the Billings Deaconess Hospital, Billings, Mont., were seen with a syndrome of incapacitating pain and exquisite tenderness along the superficial and deep veins of the legs. In addition to this group of cases, an outbreak of a similar illness involving 44 persons was observed in Laurel (population 3,660; located 16 miles southwest of Billings) in the fall and winter of 1958-1959. The illness in many of the cases was severe and lasted for several months. All cases were adults; a majority were females. Studies made of the two groups failed to reveal a causative agent or a common factor which might have precipitated the outbreak. Because of the high incidence and the unusual age and sex distribution of the cases, it was felt that a report describing the clinical and epidemiologic observations made of