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November 9, 1918


JAMA. 1918;71(19):1602. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600450078021

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To the Editor:  —I cannot resist the impulse to reply to your editorial on "Serums and Vaccines in Influenza" (The Journal, Oct. 26, 1918, p. 1408). The medical profession, quite justly proud of its conservatism, is sometimes guilty of carrying it to extremes. We rarely seem to be willing to take an assumption at its face value.Your editorial begins by saying that "we have as yet no specific serum or other specific means for the cure of influenza." Quite true; but our present knowledge of two most important biologic laws, namely, the extraordinary variation under changing environments of certain species of bacteria, together with the even more marked morphologic changes in the same species under various abnormal conditions, should allow us to predict with a certain degree of accuracy the results of a given series of procedures.The identity of the influenza bacillus may fairly be assumed. The evidence

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