Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Scarlet Fever and Cow Disease


FEW questions have within recent years more engrossed the attention of the veterinary and medical professions of this country, and have been the subject of greater or more acute controversy, than the relation of human scarlet fever to cow disease. As is well known, the Medical Department of the Local Government Board, through the Reports of Mr. Power, Dr. Cameron, and Dr. Klein (1886), have brought forward a formidable array of facts, by which it was established that, in an epidemic of scarlet fever prevailing towards the end of 1885 in the north of London, the contagium was distributed through a milk supply derived from particular milch cows at a dairy farm at Hendon, which cows were affected with a specific eruptive and visceral disease—the Hendon disease. It was further shown (Report of the Medical Officer of the Local Government Board, 1887) that this cow disease is to be considered as cow scarlatina, and that both human and cow scarlatina are associated with and caused by a microbe, the Streptococcus scarlatinæ.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Scarlet Fever and Cow Disease. Nature 40, 55–57 (1889).

Download citation


Quick links