JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.
Physicians in Austria are reported to have found it necessary to specify that in case of refilling all prescriptions used in infectious diseases a new bottle shall be used. A number of suspicious cases of infection have emphasized the possible danger of infection from bottles taken from the sick room. In a recent case in this country a drug clerk raised the question whether or not bottles returned from scarlet fever patients might have been the cause of his taking the disease. The possibility is certainly a present one, especially if the bottle were wrapped in the patient's room and in paper that had been handled by the patient. The conveyance of any one of several diseases by this means should be borne in mind by physicians and pharmacists. The latter, to prevent error in the transmission of the number of the desired prescription, could have a germicidal garbage-can, into which the messenger could drop the bottle after having held it up for the reading of the number by the pharmacist. The danger is not a pronounced one, but in epidemics every precaution should be taken.
CONTAGION FROM RETURNED BOTTLES.. JAMA. 2007;297(11):1264. doi:10.1001/jama.297.11.1264-a