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November 23, 1918


Author Affiliations

St. Paul Executive Secretary, Minnesota Public Health Association

JAMA. 1918;71(21):1765. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600470063025

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To the Editor:  —The use of an efficient mask to cover nose and mouth has been thoroughly well exploited. Notes are beginning to come in now of nurses and others contracting influenza despite the use of masks and washing of hands. The fact that the eyes are exposed to mouth spray has been generally overlooked, and little reference, if any, has been made to the necessity of wearing some protection for the eyes. It is obvious that the eyes may be directly infected, or that the organisms falling on the eyes may be carried by the tear ducts to the nose, and therefore to the throat and mouth.I have seen an instance in which diphtheria was contracted by a most careful physician who wore a mask and washed his hands, the fact being that the patient from whom he was taking a culture coughed directly into his eyes. He

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