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June 1965

Preventive Medicine in World War II: Communicable Diseases; Arthropodborne Diseases Other Than Malaria.

Author Affiliations

Vol 7. Office of the Surgeon General, Department of the Army, Ebbe Curtis Hoff, PhD, MD (ed.). Price, $4.25. Pp 370. Superintendent of Documents, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1964.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(6):756-757. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03860180128042

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This book is one of a series being published by the US Army's Preventive Medicine Service. In the leisurely fashion of military medical histories it appears some 20 years after the events described. Although knowledge of such diseases as plague and the typhus fevers has increased during this period, the book is a valuable reference and is frequently fascinating in its description of the problems presented by these diseases and the way in which the Army met them.

Roughly half of the volume is devoted to the typhus fevers. There is an excellent and comprehensive discussion of epidemic (louse-borne) typhus. The important and sometimes decisive effect of typhus on battles, campaigns, and even on the course of history is well known. The planning of the Preventive Medicine Service to meet this threat even before the country's entry into World War II is an interesting and impressive account. The decision to

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