Medicine: The Case of the Dubious Dye

Most of the patients already had difficult-to-diagnose intestinal trouble, which was one reason why they were in Boston's famed Massachusetts General Hospital in the first place. Many of them were children. But unaccountably, when doctors gave them tests, some of the patients developed worse diarrhea.

Not until Mass General Bacteriologist Lawrence J. Kunz examined some of the children's stool specimens did he discover the alarming and unexpected reason: the relatively uncommon bacterium Salmonella cubana.

Detection of any kind of highly infectious Salmonella* anywhere in the U.S.—particularly in a hospital—is enough to set disease detectives working overtime. Salmonellosis is a particularly severe diarrhea, often...

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