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September 2, 1939

OTITIS AND SINUSITIS IN THE SWIMMERWITH EMPHASIS ON MAN'S LACK OF ADAPTATION TO AN AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT CHAIRMAN'S ADDRESS

JAMA. 1939;113(10):891-894. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800350001001
Abstract

Biology is the fundamental study of the phenomena of life in all its varied relations. The biologic approach to the discussion of a medical problem is the most rational one, because man himself is a biologic study. By means of this approach the subject of immunity and resistance may be elucidated in a scientific yet not a difficult manner. The prevention of infections of the sinuses and the ear secondary to swimming illustrates this fact as well as any phase of preventive medicine. Nevertheless, in the literature pertaining to these infections the existence in man of few structural adaptations for an aquatic environment has to a large extent been ignored, and only one etiologic factor, that of contaminated water, has been extensively dealt with. My interest in other etiologic factors was stimulated by observing that a number of my patients with infections of the ear or sinuses had frequented a

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