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August 29, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XLI(9):561-562. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490280031007

At the end of the year 1902 and during the early part of 1903, much was published in the medical and lay press regarding the action of lemon juice on typhoid bacilli. Reports from the laboratory of the public health department of one of our large cities claimed that "a teaspoonful of lemon juice to half a glass of typhoid infected water is sufficient to destroy the vitality of the contained germs and thus to prevent their production of the toxin or poison which causes typhoid fever." From the same source the suggestion was also sent out that oysters infected with typhoid bacilli could be rendered innocuous by pouring lemon juice over them. These ideas were eagerly taken up by the daily papers, and as a result many people entertain the false idea that lemon juice in water and on oysters protects them from danger of typhoid fever when these

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