Thursday, December 30, 2010

Letter of the Day: December 30 [mystery diagnosis, part 4]

December 30, 1896

Lieut. P. C. Fauntleroy
Assistant Surgeon, U. S. Army,
Fort Niobrara, Nebraska

Dear Doctor:

I have examined the cover slips and urine which you recently sent, but have been unable to get any information from them as to the cause of your case of purulent urethritis. I think it more than likely that the peculiar bodies I referred to in my former letter are, after all, altered white blood cells. Certainly your case appears to be unique in one respect, namely, the apparent entire absence of bacteria from the discharge. Although I would not, as a rule, place much confidence in the statements of an individual who had been dancing and drinking, still, as far as the evidence goes in this particular case, you can probably exclude the gonococcus as the cause.

Very sincerely yours,

Walter Reed
Surgeon, U. S. Army,

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