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April 1917


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene. Harvard Medical School, and the Boston Floating Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1917;13(4):337-353. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1917.01910040034002

Bacillary dysentery takes a heavy toll of the infants of large cities every summer. The disease is not spectacular, for it usually does not spread over large areas, but strikes at random here and there and passes by almost unnoticed. During a period of ten years, however, the case incidence is probably higher than the greatly feared poliomyelitis, and the death rate is equally high.

The cause of the disease is well recognized, and its treatment has received careful study, but the mode of transmission has excited only indifference, or, at most, random speculation. Epidemics of adult dysentery have received much attention, particularly during the present war, for the disease has at times wrought havoc among the soldiers. The source and the mode of transmission of the casual case, the sporadic case, the usual type of summer bacillary dysentery of infants is unknown. Kendall1 believes that the disease in