Clinical Observations on Spotted Fever in the Gulf Coast Area of Texas

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  • From the Department of Pediatrics, Medical Branch, University of Texas, Galveston, Texas

In an extensive area covering vast regions of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and the southeastern Atlantic states, Amblyomma americanum predominates greatly over other varieties of ticks. Three recent tick surveys made by Anigstein and Bader (1), by Kohls and McGregor (5) in the region of West Columbia, Texas, Brazoria County, in connection with an outbreak of spotted fever revealed that in about six thousand ticks collected only Amblyomma americanum were found.

Case 1. In 1937, a child, G. C., female aged five years residing in Alvin, Texas, Brazoria County, was admitted to the John Sealy Hospital and died after a period of seven days. The chief complaints were fever, vomiting, intense hyperaesthesia over the entire body, a petechial rash appearing first on the extremities and extending to the body.

Laboratory data showed a positive serum agglutination in a dilution 1:320 for Proteus X19. Rickettsial bodies found recently by Anigstein and Bader were similar in appearance to those found in Cases 3 and 4.

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