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The so-called “São Paulo exanthematic typhus” and “Minas Geraes exanthematic typhus” have been discovered in the State of São Paulo in the year 1928 (1) and in Minas Geraes in 1933, but there is evidence that the disease has occurred for many years.
In spite of having distinct local names, the disease appears to be the same. It is not an infection of the typhus group, as is suggested by the commonly used names and as was previously assumed, but belongs to the spotted fever group (Piza, Meyer and Gomes (1), Amaral and Monteiro (2), Monteiro (3), Moreira and Magalhães (4), Parker and Davis (5), Dyer (6), Pinkerton (7), Dias and Martins (8)). For that reason its more adequate name should be Brazilian spotted fever or fièvre pourprée brésilienne in French and febre maculosa brasileira in Portuguese, as was recently proposed by Libanio (9).