A Preliminary Report on the Practical Epidemiology and Control of Endemic Typhus Fever in Georgia

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Summary and Conclusions

In this paper we have tried to present what we considered pertinent statistical data concerning 4,762 reported cases of endemic typhus fever occurring during the period 1932 to 1938 in Georgia. From the facts presented it is evident:

  1. 1.That the highest incidence occurs in July, August, and September.
  2. 2.That, at the present time, the problem of endemic typhus fever is one of the small towns and villages in Georgia.
  3. 3.That, based on the reported incidence, the attack rate in the white race is approximately 7 times greater than in the negro race.
  4. 4.That there is no age specific immunity.
  5. 5.That rat proofing is the only permanent method of control.
  6. 6.That epidemiological investigations are essential for successful control measures.

Epidemiological investigations are essential to the control of any disease. This statement is as true of typhus as it is of typhoid. Anyone should understand the futility of applying control measures without knowing from whence a disease is spreading. In typhus control such practice is not only expensive but will defeat its purpose.

Author Notes

Director, Division of Preventable Diseases, Georgia State Department of Public Health.

State Typhus Control Engineer, Georgia State Department of Public Health.