Medicine: Disease Detectives

The hundreds of Camp Fire Girls, aged eight to 16, who thronged the four camps around Lake Vera in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada had a wonderful time. They hiked through the pinewoods, splashed in the little lake, cooked and slept outdoors. Along with sunburned necks and scraped knees, most of them got a few mosquito bites. They were used to that. And after 1,500 girls had scattered to their homes, a few got sick. That was natural, too.

But in August, Director Alexander Langmuir of the U.S. Epidemic Intelligence Service got an...

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