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October 25, 1913

Current Comment

JAMA. 1913;61(17):1542-1544. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350180042016

CLEAN HANDS  The assertion is sometimes made that it is alone the "filthy habits" of the typhoid carrier that make him a public danger. If he could be made to wash his hands, it is alleged, transference of infection would be prevented. Those who regard bacterial cleanliness as simply a matter of careful hand-washing are likely to obtain disappointing results if a recent experiment performed by Cummins1 is at all indicative of what may occur under ordinary conditions of life. This observer, after dipping the right index-finger in the urine (proved to contain upward of 3,000 million typhoid bacilli per cubic centimeter) of a typhoid carrier, proceeded to carry out measures of cleansing as follows:1. Rinsed in liquor cresolisscomapositus solution (approxim2ely cent.).n nt.). 2r under the tap, ingerngin cold, then in ving water (temperathen in very hot water (temperature not recorded). 3. Washed very carefully in about 0.5 c.c. stesterilen