Abstract

Medical observers during the American Civil War were happily surprised to find that typhus fever rarely made an appearance, and was not a major killer in the prisoner-of-war camps where the crowded, filthy, and malnourished populations appeared to offer an ideal breeding ground for the disease. Through a review of apparent typhus outbreaks in America north of the Mexican border, this article argues that typhus fever rarely if ever extended to the established populations of the United States, even when imported on immigrant ships into densely populated and unsanitary slums. It suggests that something in the American environment was inhospitable to the extensive spread of the disease, most likely an unrecognized difference in the North American louse population compared to that of Europe.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3176
Print ISSN
0007-5140
Pages
pp. 269-290
Launched on MUSE
2006-06-05
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.