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JAMA 100 Years Ago
April 16, 2008


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2008;299(15):1844. doi:10.1001/jama.299.15.1844-a

Cases of syphilis insontium have undoubtedly been contracted by the medium of dirty money; how often this happens no one can say—it is probably not rarely. No one will deny that infections are transmitted by this means, and especially among the careless. In one of the Mills Hotels in New York City, institutions in which men of limited means are accommodated, the superintendent died recently of malignant scarlet fever. The physician who made this diagnosis (which a consultant corroborated) believed that the disease was in this case contracted through the handling of many dirty greenbacks. Indeed, it would be difficult to find anywhere in civilization a medium of exchange so filthy and so much a menace to the public health as is most of our paper currency.

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