January 20, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(3):178-179. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460030052018

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It has been proposed, by an English journal, to establish a sanatorium in Spitzbergen, to take advantage of the germ-free atmosphere of that high latitude. The experience of Nansen, who found an absence of microbes in the farthest north, has suggested this to some activeminded sanitarians. It is a pity that the suggestion is not a more practical one. Germ-free air is not the one essential to health, and the climate of the North Pole has its drawbacks in spite of its aseptic advantages. A short summer sojourn at Spitzbergen would have attraction for a very limited class of individuals, and its therapeutic value might be even more restricted, allowing it to exist at all for a few. As a winter resort, the polar regions are out of the question, though it is in the winter especially that they are most free from microbic life. Dr. F. A. Cook, in

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