JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.
The lower house of the Missouri Legislature now in session was stampeded recently by the discovery that one of its members was suffering from smallpox of a mild type which did not prevent him from occupying his seat. Since then a number of members have been attacked by the disease, and the safety of important party measures has been threatened by the absence of the victims. There are many rabid anti-vaccinationists in Missouri, and while, so far as we are aware, there is no pending legislation instigated by them, as in other states, the present condition of affairs affords an object lesson which may possibly be effective in preventing such measures in the present and possibly in some future legislatures. Of course, impressions produced by epidemics or disease outbreaks do not last forever, but as a rule they serve a purpose in stimulating sanitary zeal, and, while the medical profession does all it can to prevent epidemics, there is no reason why it should not utilize their occurrence to point a moral or adorn a tale. It is to be hoped that the smallpox outbreak in the Missouri Legislature will have a not unfavorable effect as regards the medical legislation now before that body.
AN OBJECT LESSON FOR LEGISLATORS.. JAMA. 2007;297(11):1264. doi:10.1001/jama.297.11.1264-b