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December 15, 1923


JAMA. 1923;81(24):2034-2035. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650240038016

When the war trumpets blow, the peoples must dance. No place so remote, no family so isolated that it may not be affected by a conflict seemingly as outside its sphere of interest as the planet Saturn. War, famine and pestilence ride together as well chosen comrades. Disease is a consequence of modern war as direct and inevitable as bullet wounds.

While it is not possible to predicate in every instance that this or that case of disease would not have occurred but for the war, the general influence of war on the mass phenomena of disease is constantly becoming clearer. There are infections that are contracted in larger proportion among the men in army camps than they would have been among the same men in civilian life. These diseases are spread by the returning soldier, and may reach out in widening circles to the remotest corners of the earth.