1st General Medical Laboratory
New York, New York
Sept. 22, 1942
Dear Dr. Dove:
I do not recall whether I mentioned in my last letter the desirability of having some work done on methods of delousing the body of a person which is more rapid than the usual slow and uncertain process of shaving and bathing. My particular concern is lousy patients suffering from some disease or injury requiring immediate medication or surgery and which could not be handled in the customary way. Then too, one cannot be certain that bathing and shaving will get all the lice and nits on the body. If we had a solution which was both lousicidal and ovicidal which could be sprayed over the body it would eliminate a lot of work and time in delousing a helpless patient by bathing. Lethane in a water mixture might be suitable for this purpose and I am thinking too of a water emulsion of benzyl benzoate. This last seems to be a good treatment for scabies and is highly recommended by the British. It is applied all over the body except the head without harmful effects. The proportion of the mixture is 25% benzyl benzoate, 5% wetting agent, and 70% water. Would you please ask the boys in Fla. to run some preliminary tests with this material on research subjects using live lice and nits on the skin. If this cannot be done immediately perhaps they could try light sprayings of lice and eggs on pieces of cloth.
Nothing has come through from Stone’s office yet regarding new developments by the boys in the Southeast but the British seem to be getting some of that information from OSRD. Deniza tells me that you are sending the things I requested and I surely appreciate your help in this matter. Did you get the money for the mosquito larvicide investigations? Who is working on it? I understand that the shipbuilding project at N.O. was abandoned – is that correct? Would like to know if Stone’s office is still enthusiastic about M.B. fumigation and if it is now standard recommendation. No instructions have been received by people concerned here according to my knowledge.
Give my best regards to everyone there and in the field. Everything OK with me.
Emory C. Cushing