June 27, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVI(26):1274. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430780026008

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It is probably correct to assume that at the present time there is a strong tendency amongst physicians to overestimate the importance of bacteriologic diagnosis as compared with that by other long-used methods, and this tendency finds expression not only in common practice, but is encouraged to some extent by the writings of high authorities. The term " overestimate" is here used advisedly because, with all its value, the discovery of actual germs is not everything in itself and is, moreover, often difficult or impracticable while other methods are available.

Within the past few months or a year, there have been several papers and memoirs published that have a bearing on this question. An English authority, Professor Hankin, sent out a pamphlet the object of which was largely to magnify the importance of the bacteriologic over the chemic tests in the examination of drinking water, and on the other hand, Dr.

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