The Food Handler as a Transmitter of Amebiasis

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  • Medical Director, Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, New York, N. Y.
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Summary

  1. 1.A group of Americans recruited from localities in the United States where the average amebic infection rate is certainly not more than 10 per cent were transported to the island of Aruba where they lived for a number of years without prophylactic measures against the dissemination of amebic infection by carriers.
  2. 2.This group lived under conditions which precluded the possibility of acquiring amebic infection from water, flies, sewage, or soil contamination of food.
  3. 3.Stool examinations after several years of residence under such conditions showed an infection rate of 25.57 per cent and an amebic colitis rate of 36.84 per 1,000 per annum.
  4. 4.A stool examination of food handlers in this camp showed that 33 per cent were ameba carriers.
  5. 5.Active measures for the control of dissemination of infection by food handlers were put into effect, and as result—without any other measures or any changes in the habits or environment of the group—the infection rate was reduced 50 per cent after one year and 92 per cent after three years of such activities.
  6. 6.It is realized that this is not a carefully controlled scientific experiment and that it cannot be presented as positive evidence of the transmission of amebiasis by carriers. However, this experience as well as that of practical workers throughout the tropical world does present strong presumptive evidence that such transmission occurs. Since in our opinion no conclusive proof to the contrary has been presented, we feel justified in continuing measures for the control of infection by carriers.

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