Spotted Fever in Panama; Isolation of the Etiologic Agent from a Fatal Case

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Although spotted fever is known to be endemic in this hemisphere in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil, its occurrence on the Isthmus of Panama has not yet been demonstrated. It seems of importance, therefore, to report the isolation of a strain of Rickettsia belonging to the spotted fever group from the blood of a native Panamanian, permanently resident in the Republic, who died of a fulminant infection 12 hours after admission to the Santo Tomas Hospital located in the City of Panama. Due to the grave clinical course of the disease, the jaundice and vomiting, yellow fever was strongly suspected and the assistance of this laboratory solicited in an attempt to isolate the virus. For this purpose the chief pathologist, Dr. J. M. Herrera and the physician in charge of the ward Dr. J. Nicosia, submitted the following specimens: blood drawn on the day of admission, blood drawn from the heart post-mortem and sections of liver, spleen and cerebral tissue.

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