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June 6, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XL(23):1587. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490230039007

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The floods now occurring in the great Missouri Valley, which are unprecedented for the region and probably as financially disastrous as the reports have stated, have an important sanitary bearing. While the immediate loss of life has probably been somewhat exaggerated, the ultimate effects may be much more serious than at present anticipated. Few people who have not seen the effects of a flood in a thickly populated section can conceive of the unsanitary conditions that are produced. Aside from the breaking up of homes and rendering them uninhabitable, the exposure and the mental effects on the victims, conditions are left that it will take considerable time to relieve, conditions that are seriously threatening the health and general welfare of the community. The choked-up sewers and the consequent impaired drainage after such a flood in any particular community, together with the amount of decomposing matter in every way out of

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