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September 5, 1925


Author Affiliations

Assistant Surgeon General, U. S. Public Health Service WASHINGTON, D. C.

JAMA. 1925;85(10):729-733. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02670100017005

In violation of orthodox technic, I have selected the broad, general topic of "Plague—Past, Present, and Future" as the title of a paper that must necessarily be brief. I had fully intended to review the literature of the subject before attempting to present this paper, but circumstances beyond my control made this impossible. It is for this reason that so much of what I shall say here is based on personal contact with the disease and association with other plague workers.

HISTORY  Plague has a most pernicious past; a present that is bad; and a future that seems to say to civilized man, "Your money or your life." It is for man to say whether, in paying tribute to plague, it shall be a toll of lives or a tax in money, and if the latter, how much shall be paid and how payment shall be made.Plague is a