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September 10, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLIII(11):739-740. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500110033005

Some three or four years after the discovery of the tubercle bacillus by Koch, the researches of Cornet demonstrated the great part played by dried sputum in the spread of the disease, particularly the pulmonary form. In fact, the idea that the inhalation of dried sputum was almost the only, or at any rate by far the most common, method of transmission of pulmonary tuberculosis, gained a strong footing in the medical profession. The idea that the tuberculous individual could exhale from the mouth infective material seemed at first an improbability on account of the well-recognized bacteriologic law that bacteria are not detached from moist surfaces. Still, it was known to bacteriologists that bacteria could be detached from moist surfaces in the form of a spray, and it remained for Flügge and his pupils to show, in 1897, that in tuberculous individuals during coughing and even during speaking, a fine

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