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May 18, 1918


JAMA. 1918;70(20):1462. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600200028014

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In late years there has been a disposition in some quarters to question the importance of milk as a factor in spreading disease. Certain writers recognize the possibility of milk-borne infection, but consider it almost negligible from a practical standpoint. The latest report of the Massachusetts Department of Health, just issued, contains some interesting data on epidemics in that state during 1916. From the summaries it appears that among the outbreaks of communicable disease investigated, a number were traced to milk. Twenty outbreaks of diphtheria are summarized, one of these definitely traced to milk. A second "subepidemic" is also mentioned in connection with a small outbreak due to direct contact. Out of eighteen epidemics of scarlet fever, one was caused by milk. Seven outbreaks of typhoid fever are described, four of which, comprising nearly nine tenths of the cases, were due to milk. One outbreak of septic sore throat occurred

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