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Source: The New York Journal American: Jan. 19, 1947
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Discovers Cure for 'Black Death'

By G. B. Lal
Science Editor, The American Weekly, (Written Especially in the New York Journal American)


A remedy has been found for the worst form of "black death," pneumonic plague, which has been one of the worst diseases trotted out among the bugaboos of bacterial warfare, as much to alarm and stampede as to warn the American people.

The cure is made possible through treatment with streptomycin, an antibiotic substance of the same general nature as penicillin, discovered and developed in this country.

The discovery, ranking among the foremost achievements in medical science, has been made by the world famous California scientist, Dr. Karl F. Meyer, director of the Hooper Foundation, University of California Medical College, San Francisco.


Dr. Meyer will give an exhaustive report on his discovery today at the meeting, of the National Tuberculosis Associaticn in San Francisco.

While a sulfa drug can cure bubonic plague, it is ineffective against pneumonic plague, which is a disease of the lungs. Until the development of treatment with streptomycin, there was no remedy for the dreadful and fatal malady.

All the research has been done on mice in Dr. Meyer's laboratories, where the utmost care is taken not to allow germs to spread from the infected to the healthy animals.

It was part of the extremely secret and comprehensive wartime bacterial warfare research of this nation.

Plague, which killed Pericles, the greatest Greek of some 2,400 years ago, and brought defeat and decimation to Athens, is caused by the germ known as bacillus pestis.