Volume s1-28, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



  • 1.  This paper reports certain aspects of an epidemic of amebiasis which occurred in the Mantetsu apartment building, Tokyo, Japan. The building was a renovated six-story office building which housed 73 family units of American Occupation personnel.
  • 2.  In addition to 143 adult occupants, there were 5 children, 5 guests and 8 assigned Army personnel who were exposed to the threat of amebiasis.
  • 3.  Two hundred forty-eight (248) Japanese employees in the building were also threatened with exposure.
  • 4.  The protozoan infection rates for Americans were as follows: , 62.9 per cent; , 27.8 per cent; , 59 per cent; , 76.2 per cent; and , 10.6 per cent. These figures are based on adult occupants; children and guests were excluded.
  • 5.  The protozoan infection rates for Japanese employees were as follows: , 22.2 per cent; , 34.3 per cent; 29.0 per cent; , 46.0 per cent; and , 5.7 per cent.
  • 6.  Lower rates of protozoan infections in the Japanese were probably due to: less time spent in the building; their tea drinking customs; and authorized absenteeism for New Year's festivities during the first five days of January.
  • 7.  Exposure apparently occurred mainly during the first week of January 1947. The epidemic was recognized 23 January 1947.
  • 8.  There was no evidence that food-handlers had been responsible for the epidemic. Food-handlers were served left-over foods from the Army mess located in the building, nonfood-handlers were not authorized to receive such foods. The rate of infections indicated both groups had been about equally exposed.
  • 9.  Circumstances concerned with water and sewage systems indicated that the epidemic was waterborne. This appears to be supported by the extremely high rates of protozoan infections acquired during a brief period of exposure.


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