Former Trachoma Hospital – Rolla MO


The Trachoma Hospital was completed in 1939 to serve the large number of patients in the Ozark region who were infected with trachoma, the leading cause of blindness at the time. Missouri was in a belt extending from Alabama to Oklahoma where trachoma was prevalent. The predominant forms of therapy were topical medications and in severe cases surgery. Interestingly, in 1937 (before the hospital was built), there was successful treatment of trachoma with oral sulfonalimides. Although this negated the need for the hospital, the start of WWII diverted available supply of these drugs to the military. In the absence of sulfonalimides, the incidence of trachoma returned to pre-war levels. The hospital was constructed to provide treatment with an older form of antibiotics as well as necessary surgeries. After the hospital was closed in the mid-50’s, the building has been used by the highway patrol and now by the University of Missouri, Rolla as a their Rock Mechanics and Explosive Research Center.

Source notes

Project originally submitted by Charles Swaney on September 15, 2014.

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Location Info

1006 Kingshighway
Rolla, MO 65401

Coordinates: 37.946757, -91.779047

One comment on “Former Trachoma Hospital – Rolla MO

  1. Brandy L Lasmanis

    Thank you for posting this. I have lived here my entire life and had no idea. I love learning the real history of my hometown. You might like to know that the zip code you have is incorrect. The actual zip code is 65401 (not 65409).

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