November 5, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLIII(19):1397-1398. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500190049004

The advent of cold weather, almost every year, is marked by a series of outbreaks of epidemic diseases, for which no definite cause can be found. All the cases in a locality may be traced to one or two original ones, but the origin of these primary cases, as a rule, is unknown. The Chicago Board of Health has suggested one source of contagion which deserves careful investigation. As the cold weather commences, bedding that has been put away during the summer is brought out for use again. It is at least a curious coincidence that contagious diseases, such as measles, scarlet fever, whooping cough, and even the more serious, smallpox, are apt to become epidemic at this time of the year.

The Chicago Board of Health has found during the present year some thirty separate smallpox infection centers, the cause for which would seem to be the infected bedding

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