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November 29, 1919

PREVENTIVE MEDICINE AS APPLIED TO VENEREAL AND SKIN DISEASES

JAMA. 1919;73(22):1668-1677. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610480018008
Abstract

General Gorgas said early in the war:

Venereal diseases present the most serious communicable disease problem of the war.... The army loses more days of service from its men on account of venereal disease than from any other cause. During the twelve months ending September, 1918, there were 170,000 cases of venereal disease in our army (in the United States). This means a loss of approximately two and a quarter million training days in a year. Add to this the cost of medical care and hospital equipment, and the loss of possible relapse later and you commence to see what venereal diseases cost a nation at war.1... During the period from Sept. 2, 1917, to May 31, 1918, the annual rate per thousand for our troops in the United States was 102.3 per cent.; the rate from all other communicable diseases, 29.4 per cent., pneumonia, scarlet fever, typhoid and

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