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January 11, 1890


JAMA. 1890;XIV(2):59-60. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410020023004

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The microscopic germ or microbe of to-day, or the old-time entity, has assumed an important rôle in our lives. Of late years a flood of light has been thrown on the subject of germs by the work of M. Pasteur, his researches in ferments and fermentation, and his extraordinary findings in chicken cholera, charbon and hydrophobia. These have attracted the attention of the medical and lay world, and have been the means of leading to endless investigation in every clime.

To-day, thanks to such researches, upwards of two hundred germs, microbes or bacteria are known, the majority wholly harmless as disease-producers—in a word, most useful in the many physiological processes taking place within our bodies.

While trying to establish the raison d'etre of some of these microbes a new one is announced that temporarily promises to be king. The new bête noire is influenza, doubtless due to a specific organism

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