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July 1963

Epidemiology of Staphylococcal Disease of Mothers and Infants

Author Affiliations

Reimert T. Ravenholt, MD, MPH, Epidemiologic Consultant, European Area, Division of Foreign Quarantine, United States Public Health Service, American Embassy, Paris, France.; Formerly, Director, Epidemiology and Communicable Disease Control, Seattle-King County Health Department (Dr. Ravenholt); Public Health Resident, Seattle-King County Health Department, Surgeon, U.S. Public Health Service (Dr. Ogden).

Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(1):73-82. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050075013

Ideally, communities should be protected from the disastrous consequences of unchecked epidemics of nursery-derived staphylococcal disease, by means of continual monitoring of the health of mothers and newborn infants. "Although much staphylococcal disease is not directly derived from nurseries, newborn nurseries are critical determinants of community staphylococcal disease, much as water supplies determine the prevalence of typhoid and other enteric diseases. For that reason, effective prevention of transmission and propagation of staphylococci in nurseries can probably alter the balance of forces so as to achieve a substantial general reduction of staphylococcal disease throughout the community."1

Sensitive monitoring of the quality of hospital care can be achieved by means of morbidity histories obtained from mothers by telephone during their second month postpartum.1-7 This methood, which was introduced in Seattle in 1955, has been used repeatedly in this community2,3 and elsewhere 5,6 and has been instituted as a routine

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