The Tornado as an Epidemiological Research Tool

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  • 1 U. S. Public Health Service, Washington, D. C.
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The hypothesis that tornadoes spread histoplasmosis, a lung disease resembling tuberculosis, is supported by evidence based on a priori reasoning, by data from past records, and by data collected from a study designed to test this hypothesis. The less severe but much more frequent wind and rain storms might also be spreading this disease, although this is difficult to demonstrate. It may be possible to use future tornadoes as a “natural laboratory” to study the spread of the causative fungus and learn something about its survival and growth requirements in nature.

The hypothesis that tornadoes spread histoplasmosis, a lung disease resembling tuberculosis, is supported by evidence based on a priori reasoning, by data from past records, and by data collected from a study designed to test this hypothesis. The less severe but much more frequent wind and rain storms might also be spreading this disease, although this is difficult to demonstrate. It may be possible to use future tornadoes as a “natural laboratory” to study the spread of the causative fungus and learn something about its survival and growth requirements in nature.

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