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March 22, 1890


JAMA. 1890;XIV(12):419-420. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410120023003

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For a great many years the epidemic and contagious nature of tetanus has been asserted by various medical and surgical writers, and their observations in the light of recent experiment is interesting. Larry, Thierry and Hutin recorded many outbreaks of this terrible disease after the Napoleonic battles, and Murat in a thesis published in 1816 reports an epidemic of tetanus following the battle of Jena, to which the wounded who had sought shelter in the churches and churchyards (localities in Europe serving as burying-places), it may be recalled, were especially liable. In 1854 Simson, and 1855 Benjamin Travers, of Edinburg, asserted that tetanus was infectious; a statement affirmed by Vulpian in 1866, and reaffirmed by Trelat after his experience in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71.

Acting upon the similarity of tetanus and hydrophobia and following the example of Pasteur, Nocart, in 1882 tried in vain to inoculate the the disease

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