Typhus Fever

A Note on the Severity of the Disease Among Unvaccinated and Vaccinated Laboratory Personnel at the National Institute of Health

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  • Division of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Health, Public Health Service, Federal Security Agency

For some fifteen years cases of typhus fever have been occurring among personnel engaged in investigations of this disease in the Typhus Unit at The National Institute of Health. The early cases occurred before an active immunizing agent was available, while the more recent cases have occurred in vaccinated individuals. Since so little is known concerning the effect of typhus vaccine on a subsequent human infection it is of interest to compare these two series of cases.

During the period of 1929 to 1943, there has been a total of seventeen cases of typhus fever among the personnel, nine of these in unvaccinated and eight in vaccinated individuals. The records of fourteen of these are adequate and can be compared, the records of the other three (two unvaccinated and one vaccinated) are not sufficiently complete and therefore have been excluded.

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