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February 11, 1933


JAMA. 1933;100(6):424-425. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740060040012

In these times of economic depression, with the unwelcome records of personal misfortunes and maladjustments that they inevitably entail, it is comforting to find an encouraging outlook in the trends of public health.1 In this field of interest, at least, there is no occasion to join the chorus of those who long for "the good old days." Until comparatively recent times, all who had to deal with disease were so bound by the bonds of ignorance that they were almost utterly powerless. It is easy to forget the not so remote days when the true nature of infectious disease was unknown— when, as a popular writer has forcefully commented, "germs were allowed to remain on surgical instruments, cots, and clothing from one patient to infect the next and thus disease and death were passed on in an endless chain."2 The whole subject of the elimination of the terrors

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