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Article
December 27, 1919

CONTAMINATION OF THE HANDS AND OTHER OBJECTS IN THE SPREAD OF DIPHTHERIAOBSERVATIONS ON SECONDARY INFECTIONS IN HOSPITALS FOR CONTAGIOUS DISEASES

JAMA. 1919;73(26):1921-1922. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610520011005
Abstract

Crossed infections in hospitals for contagious diseases are always a matter of concern, and the technic followed in modern hospitals for these diseases has been elaborated with the special purpose of preventing such infections. Since the transfer of the infectious material is probably in most cases by direct carriage, it is most important to know just what the carrier is and to take measures to avoid its activity. It is readily imagined that the hands of nurses and others which are often in contact with patients and which frequently become contaminated by discharges from the throat, nose, ears, etc., may readily act as carriers. Our observations were made to learn if the routine followed in the hospital was sufficient to preclude such carriage by hands. Cultures were made to determine whether the hands of nurses and interns were free from the organisms which they had acquired in handling patients after

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