Of the great plagues that in past centuries regularly decimated the world population, only influenza remains. The recent pandemic of Asian influenza made very manifest the limits of our progress in the conquest of this scourge. Currently we know and can study the causative agent, have a good but far from perfect vaccine, and can treat most complications successfully. Incomplete is our knowledge concerning the clinical symptoms associated with influenzal infection, the variations in number and intensity of these symptoms, and their complications and sequelae. For these reasons it is appropriate to present and to record the complete clinical picture, observed in the New Orleans area during August, September, and October, 1957, in 76 patients who suffered from influenza, established by specific diagnostic tests to be due to influenza Type A, Asian strain.
This study, one of many planned and initiated by the threat of an impending invasion of