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September 27, 1913


Author Affiliations

Surgeon, U. S. Public Health Service WASHINGTON, D. C.

JAMA. 1913;61(13_part_2):1113-1116. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350140029007

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The destructive effects of trachoma on the eyesight and the difficulty and tediousness of effecting a cure are so well known that the apparent rarity of the disease in continental America has, until recently, been a cause for congratulation.

It is true that, prior to 1897, cases of trachoma in recently landed immigrants were common enough in the eye clinics of our large cities. Since the time, however, when trachoma was classed by the federal authorities as a dangerous contagious disease, the exclusion of aliens so afflicted has been made mandatory by law and every arriving alien is examined to determine the presence or the absence of the disease in question.

As trachoma does not originate, de novo, in any uninfected territory, and its presence in any locality can be ascribed to previous importation, the action of the government in excluding persons afflicted with a communicable disease so likely to

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