Medicine: Sleep Scourge

Down on St. Louis last month swept the fingers of a dreaded plague. At widely-separated spots in & around the city people began to grow drowsy, vomit, feel their heads ache. After 24 hr. their necks crooked stiffly back, their reflexes weakened. Most lapsed into partial, some into complete coma. Others drowsed in daytime, fidgeted at night. As the malady spread, early sufferers grew maniacal.

St. Louis physicians knew it was epidemic encephalitis, the brain inflammation popularly called sleeping sickness.* Known in Europe since 1712, it first appeared in the U.S. at...

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