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February 4, 1950


Author Affiliations

Troy, N. Y.

JAMA. 1950;142(5):357. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910230059024

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To the Editor:—  In Italy in the sixteenth century there was a rough, tough soldier by the name of Camillus. He was a roisterer and had been in and out of jail several times. He reformed and joined a religious order. He worked in one of the hospitals of Rome. There was an outbreak of dysentery among the babies of that city, and the death rate was appalling. The former soldier, later canonized St. Camillus, gathered up the sick in the highways and byways and brought them to his hospital. There they were bathed, given plenty of fresh air and fed goat's milk. The epidemic was stopped, and the mothers of Rome forever afterward sang songs of praise to St. Camillus. It was he who founded, in 1584, the first nursing order devoted exclusively to the care of the sick. It was during this period that he wrote, "If you

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