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December 13, 1930


JAMA. 1930;95(24):1837. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720240047016

The common cold is one of the most devastating of human maladies—not that it leads to large numbers of deaths, but it does contribute largely to the type of morbidity classed as minor ailments. The mere discomfort caused by colds is itself of sufficient moment in relation to human happiness to warrant steps toward prevention or prompt relief. It has been said1 that, if what seem to be "mere colds" were less commonly neglected, tuberculosis would more often be caught in its incipience and pneumonia and diphtheria would often be prevented. Furthermore, aside from the mere discomfort of such a minor ailment as a common cold, it may interfere with the customary routine that wage earning requires. Morbidity thus entails loss of income that runs into large figures when expressed in dollars and cents.

There have been many attempts to discover an infectious microbiotic agent responsible for the genesis

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