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February 19, 1916


JAMA. 1916;LXVI(8):575-576. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02580340031017

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Republics are proverbially forgetful; in them lessons learned by bitter experience have only a transient influence. The Spanish-American War occurred less than twenty years ago. In this war, the most dangerous enemy which our soldiers had to meet was not the Spaniards but disease in our own camps. The records of the War Department show that in 1898, out of an army of 200,000 men, there were 21,000 cases of typhoid fever with 2,192 deaths, and that the Second Division of the Seventh Army Corps, encamped at Jacksonville, Florida, in 1898, had 2,693 cases of typhoid with 248 deaths out of only 10,759 men. Nor were such results surprising when one recalls the conditions existing at the beginning of the war. The machinery of the small regular army in existence at that time had suddenly to be expanded to fit a large army of volunteers. The size of the staff

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