Volume s1-31, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


In the period from July 1949 to July 1950, 6 confirmed cases of bubonic plague have been observed in Arizona (1 recovery) and New Mexico (3 recoveries, 2 fatalities). An additional 10 patients have been seen in California, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah, in which the tentative clinical diagnosis of plague could not be verified by subsequent laboratory findings. A genuine apprehension has resulted in Western States because these totals are considerably above the previous averages. This concern has been heightened further by the finding of plague-infected rodents in 16 additional Western counties during the calendar years 1949 and 1950. For these reasons it is appropriate and timely that a review be made of the history, epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of this disease.

The present pandemic of plague began in 1893 in the Chinese Yunnan Province. It reached Canton and Hong Kong in 1894 and then spread from there, by way of shipping routes, to all other continents, arriving in Africa and Europe in 1898, South America in 1899, and Australia and North America in 1900.


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