The Problem of Bacillary Dysentery

A Five Year Survey

Joseph Felsen New York, N. Y.

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Recent clinical reports indicate the rather wide prevalence of bacillary dysentery in new and atypical forms (1–4). With more frequent recognition of the disease there has also occurred a better understanding of many obscure forms of acute and chronic intestinal infection. Careful epidemiological, laboratory and clinical studies reveal that a surprisingly high proportion of cases of so-called colitis, enteritis or enterocolitis are due to bacillary dysentery (5, 6). The frequency with which these cases occur in our own country prompted the following survey. In carrying out these statistical studies, it was found that no accurate published data as to the incidence of bacillary dysentery was available. It was therefore deemed advisable to establish direct contact with public health officers. To these officials we acknowledge our indebtedness for their kind cooperation.

One of the greatest difficulties encountered was the rather loose use of the term “enteritis and dysentery.”