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February 1974

Plague in Vietnam: Clinical Observations and Treatment With Kanamycin

Author Affiliations

Pleiku, Republic of Vietnam

From Headquarters and Company A, 4th Medical Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, Pleiku, Republic of Vietnam. Dr. Cantey is now at the Medical University of South Carolina and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Charleston, SC.

Arch Intern Med. 1974;133(2):280-283. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320140118012

Twenty-three Montagnard tribesmen had plague infections and were hospitalized in the central highlands of Vietnam; their clinical appearances, diagnostic techniques, and kanamycin sulfate therapy were evaluated. Severely ill patients were categorized as "bubonic-septicemic plague." When contrasted with patients having bubonic plague, patients with bubonic-septicemic plague had delirium, a higher pulse rate, and a higher white blood cell count and plague bacilli on methylene-blue smears of unspun venous blood. Bacterial staining of lymph-node material and peripheral blood smears was essential for early diagnosis of plague. Results of treatment with kanamycin in 18 patients were similar to those reported with streptomycin sulfate therapy.

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