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April 14, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(15):942-943. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460150048008

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The dominant microbic pest of mankind is generally supposed at the present time to be the bacillus tuberculosis which causes one-seventh of the mortality of civilized races, or at least it is so claimed. That this estimate may be too high and that the morbidity of tuberculosis is not quite as necessarily equivalent to its mortality as was formerly supposed does not materially affect the question; it is one of the most serious health problems with which we have to deal. With the attention that is now being given it, however, there is a chance that we may overlook some other perhaps hardly less formidable disease, and possibly neglect matters that are of only slightly less importance than the "great white plague." According to the report of the Health Department of the City of Chicago, the deaths from consumption in that city during 1899, numbered 2516, and from tuberculosis of

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