During the years 1949-1952, infectious diarrhea in infancy became a major health problem in Israel. Immigration reached such dimensions that the majority of immigrants had to be housed in tents or canvas huts concentrated in large camps. The overcrowding reached dangerous dimensions, sanitation was very primitive, and the average standard of hygiene of the immigrant population was low. Most of the people came from countries with a high infant mortality rate, and the families were quite used to the sight of sick infants dying. In contrast to this was the older established population (which did not number more than the immigrants), with a comparatively high standard of living and a very low infant mortality rate. Here infectious diarrhea was sporadic or limited to institutional outbreaks. With the beginning of mass immigration in 1949, the children's wards in the hospitals were flooded with cases of infectious diarrhea in all stages of
SINGER JM, BAR-HAY J, HOENIGSBERG R. The Intestinal Flora in the Etiology of Infantile Infectious Diarrhea. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;89(5):531–538. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1955.02050110645002
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