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March 31, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVI(13):962. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02510400040012

The recent stress which has been laid on alimentary infection in tuberculosis should lead to a more careful consideration of the means by which tubercle bacilli may reach the alimentary canal. The recent studies of Lord1 show that the ubiquitous fly may play an important part in alimentary transmission. The bacilli not only pass the alimentary canal of the fly unchanged, but undergo a marked proliferation there. Fly specks may contain as many as 5,000 bacilli, and, according to Lord's computations, thirty infected flies may deposit within three days from 6,000,000 to 10,000,000 tubercle bacilli. The danger does not seem to be from the liberation of tubercle bacilli in the air, but from the deposition of the fly specks on food. That this can and does occur under certain circumstances was abundantly demonstrated by our experience with typhoid fever during the Spanish-American war. We should bear in mind the

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