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October 25, 1919


JAMA. 1919;73(17):1289-1290. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610430037017

There can be little doubt that chilling of body surfaces may become a contributory factor, if nothing more, in the etiology of pharyngitis, tonsillitis, rhinitis, etc. Although popular writers on health topics tend to decry the fear of drafts as something unworthy of a present-day adult, it will not be easy to convince an unprejudiced observer that the dread of danger from exceptional exposures belongs to the category of hygienic superstitions. Pathogenic bacteria undoubtedly exist on the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx frequently if not continually; yet it is only at certain times that they unfold an undesirable activity.

What makes the mucosa more susceptible to microbial activities after undue exposure of the exterior of the body? One of the familiar explanations of the reaction to cutaneous chilling is that the blood, being driven away from the surface of the body, is directed inwardly so that congestion of the internal

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