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Article
August 14, 1926

IS TRACHOMA A DEFICIENCY DISEASE?AN HYPOTHESIS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH CONSIDERATION

JAMA. 1926;87(7):482-485. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680070028007
Abstract

Trachoma was by regulation of the Unites States Public Health and Marine Hospital Service declared "a dangerous contagious disease" in 1897. Under this regulation, operating at all ports of entry since 1899, many undesirable immigrants have been excluded who, if admitted, were considered likely to become public charges. The ruling was a commendable one for this reason alone. Health officials almost without question accepted this ruling. State after state made this "dangerous contagious disease" reportable. The movements of those affected with trachoma have often been limited as if this regulation were literally true. Has the time not come for state health officials to reconsider the facts with regard to trachoma, its contagiousness and its epidemiology? Is it possible that trachoma may be primarily a deficiency disease?

SYMPTOMS AND CURE  Trachoma is the name given a pathologic condition of the conjunctival tissues, usually first noted as a marked folliculosis in the

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