IN 1942, in Panama 13 cases of acute conjunctivitis and dermatitis were observed and attributed to an agent which, so far as could be determined, had not previously been reported in a large number of cases.
During maneuvers of an infantry regiment one company took up defensive positions along a stretch of Pacific Ocean beach at night. The men dug foxholes and then proceeded to camouflage them by utilizing pieces of shrub found in the vicinity. This is in accordance with good military practice, as it affords a disguise which conforms with the surrounding terrain. It so happened that "beach apple" plant was easily accessible, and hence it was used.
The scientific name of the plant is Hippomane manchinella L. (Euphorbiaceae). The common names in current use are "manzanillo" and "beach apple." It is described as a gray-barked, round-topped tree found on the seabeaches of the West Indies and
GRANA PC. CONJUNCTIVITIS AND DERMATITIS DUE TO "BEACH APPLE": Report of Thirteen Cases. Arch Ophthalmol. 1946;35(4):421–422. doi:10.1001/archopht.1946.00890200428009
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