An outbreak of dengue fever

An outbreak of dengue fever

603 CORRESPONDENCE AN OUTBREAK OF DENGUE FEVER SIR,--I have just successfully fought an outbreak of dengue fever in the College and have noticed one...

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603

CORRESPONDENCE AN OUTBREAK OF DENGUE FEVER

SIR,--I have just successfully fought an outbreak of dengue fever in the College and have noticed one or two points (80 cases ; population 4,000) which I should like to have clarified and elucidated. (1) It does not appear as if Aedes aegypti is the only vector of this disease. One patient at least is emphatic that her symptoms began soon after she had been almost " devoured " by sandflies when she paid a visit to a nearby village. Sandflies are a real pest on the compound for they are " o u t " especially at sunrise and sunset. (2) Why is there so far no prophylactic treatment for this condition which has such a high nuisance value ? Incidentally, both husband and wife were never down together. (3) Does immunity not result from an attack of dengue ? Some of our patients have had one or two previous attacks. (4) Is there a relationship between dengue and measles, and why did the former disease pick out adults (especially females and housewives), and the latter particularly infants ? (5) Almost contemporaneous with this outbreak there was a mild epidemic of mumps among the children here. These came, fortunately, from homes not affected by the outbreak. Is there any connection between the two viruses ? (6) Besides symptomatic treatment is there any specific therapy for dengue fever ? I should be most grateful for any help or suggestions you could offer. We are going all out to eradicate malaria by means of routine anti-malarial measures, insecticide spraying and mass drug prophylaxis ; and I think with some assistance dengue, too, can be conquered on the compound. I am etc., L. R. ROBERTS.

Kumasi College of Technology, Kumasi, Gold Coast. 24th August, 1955.

GROWTH REQUIREMENTS OF

Medical Officer.

Leishmania tropica

AND OTHER LEISHMANIAS

SIR,--Kirk and Lewis (1955) have remarked that it is doubtful whether Leishmania sp. can be distinguished by cultural, biochemical and serological methods. All media hitherto devised have been suitable for the growth of all known species, although there may be differences in the type of growth (e.g. Adler, 1946). It is therefore interesting to note that Citri and Grossowicz (1955) have described a partially defined medium which supports the growth of Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania tropica. On the other hand, strains of Leishmania infantum (from Kenya and the Mediterranean basin), L. donovani (India and Far East), L. brasiliensis (from Guatemala) and L. agamae, all failed to grow on the above medium. Thirty-one different strains of L. tropica were sown on this medium on which they all grew H