The Necessity for More Accurate Statistics Regarding the Distribution and Incidence of Tropical Diseases in the United States

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Thirty-six years ago, at the beginning of the Spanish American War, tropical diseases were practically unknown to American physicians but during the period of that war, and immediately following it, the pioneer work of Strong and Musgrave in the Philippines, of Ashford and his colleagues in Puerto Rico, and of other investigators working in laboratories in this country, forced upon the attention of American physicians the importance of tropical diseases not only as affecting the health of our troops in the Philippines, Guam, Cuba and Puerto Rico, but also their importance in this country. This pioneer work resulted in the recognition of tropical medicine in this country as a distinct branch of medical science and it was not long before it was established that many of the diseases thought to be tropical in their distribution also occurred in the United States, but had remained unrecognized by the profession, or their importance, from a public health standpoint, had not been appreciated.

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