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Health authorities generally consider that pneumonia, epidemic meningitis and epidemic poliomyelitis as a rule if not always are transferred directly or indirectly from the sick to the well. This places them among the infectious diseases that have previously been considered contagious.
Specific protective measures are available in smallpox, typhoid fever and diphtheria. In the other contagious diseases we must rely on mechanical measures and on germicidal agents and processes for the prevention of their spread.
The use of antiseptic agents in preventing the spread of contagious diseases has been gradually narrowed, and is now largely limited to the disinfection of various secretions and discharges. Even here heat has supplanted them to a large degree. Volatile antiseptics that were formerly extensively employed in fumigation have been largely abandoned as wasteful and inefficient.
The experience of a hospital in which patients with a variety of contagious diseases are housed simultaneously may be
WEAVER GH. THE VALUE OF THE FACE MASK AND OTHER MEASURES: IN PREVENTION OF DIPHTHERIA, MENINGITIS, PNEUMONIA, ETC. JAMA. 1918;70(2):76–78. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1918.02600020010005
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