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April 21, 1888

ETIOLOGY OF TYPHOID FEVER, AS OBSERVED IN COUNTRY PRACTICE.Read in the Section on Practical Medicine, Materia Medica, and Therapeutics, at the Thirty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, June, 1887.

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1888;X(16):483-485. doi:10.1001/jama.1888.02400420007001b

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Philosophically it would not seem true that the forces of nature which shaped the human body and gave to it its symmetry also filled the air and water with a formidable foe to mankind. Such an admission would seem inconsistent with the ideas of man, not a reproach to the laws of nature. But the "germ theory" of the origin of many diseases, at present, is dominant; and it would seem poor policy for a medical men to oppose the specificity of typhoid poison, It would be equivalent to inviting the contumely and discredit of his profession.

Not many years since the only requisite of science to establish the cause of an outbreak of typhoid fever, consisted in developing a defective sewer pipe, an illy kept cellar, or impure water supply. The specific element was by no means always a consideration in the elaboration of the poison. With so light

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