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November 5, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLIII(19):1400. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500190052009

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The danger of transmission of smallpox and other diseases by the roving element of society, known as "tramps," is one which it is impossible wholly to prevent and difficult to restrict. The danger is a very real one in the experience of health officers. Emphasis is given to the need of proper restrictions by a report from Dr. Armstrong, health officer of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, who investigated the subject by sending inquiries to 126 provincial health officers. Replies showed that smallpox was introduced by vagrants in 57 out of 111 districts (with a population of 20,000 and upward, where an epidemic had prevailed), and that in 25 of these 57 districts, spread of the infection occurred from vagrants. The importance of the matter has been appreciated by the London County Council, which has asked for a convention of the sanitary authorities of England and Wales to consider the subject and to

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