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JAMA 100 Years Ago
October NaN, 2002

Prevention of Germ Diseases.

Author Affiliations

JenniferReiling, Assistant Editor

JAMA. 2002;288(16):2056. doi:10.1001/jama.288.16.2056-JJY20033-2-1

Medical News.—The Department of Health says that it realizes its duty to prevent disease to the full extent of its power and knowledge. It knows that the inhalation of formaldehyd gas will prevent a very large proportion of cases of the diseases which now threaten the public health. For a few cents any druggist will furnish a half-ounce metal ointment box, packed with absorbent cotton and the cotton wet with formalin. The formalin box should be carried during the day and put under the pillow at night. At the onset of coughing, sneezing, running of the eyes and nose or other premonitory symptoms of having "caught cold," remove the cover from the box and inhale the vapor or gas through the nostrils and mouth alternately for two or three minutes. Be careful not too inhale too vigorously at first. Frequently a single use will cut short the symptoms, but it may be repeated without harm as often as necessary during the day and night. It is confidently believed that thousands of cases of contagious and infectious air-borne diseases, with a large percentage of deaths, could be prevented by this simple and inexpensive method.

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