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JAMA 100 Years Ago
August 20, 2008


JAMA. 2008;300(7):848. doi:10.1001/jama.300.7.848

Irrespective of politics, there will probably be general approval of the action of President Roosevelt in directing attention to the conditions existing on farms, and of his appointment of a commission to report on the possibilities of improving the social, industrial and sanitary aspects of farm life. As medical men [sic] we are naturally most interested in the sanitary conditions of farm life and gratified that the need of improvement along this line has been recognized. The commission should experience no difficulty in showing conclusively the need of work on this subject. Every physician with even a limited knowledge of rural life knows the deplorable sanitary conditions which exist in large sections of the country. It is necessary only to refer to the aphorism “typhoid is a rural disease” and to the wide-spread occurrence of malaria and hookworm disease in the South. In fact, the question of sanitation, important in all sections, is of paramount importance in some sections. The need is so obvious and urgent and some measure of relief, at least, so easy that this would seem to be the most tangible problem the commission could consider.

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