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September 4, 1926


Author Affiliations

Toledo, Ohio. Commissioner of Health.

JAMA. 1926;87(10):777. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680100061032

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To the Editor:  —A frequent barrier to city epidemiologic work is the failure of physicians to report communicable and venereal diseases to city health departments. The death certificate may be the first notice of a contagious disease. This is especially true of such diseases as typhoid, epidemic meningitis, tuberculosis and the common diseases of childhood. Reports from medical journals indicate that frequently physicians have been prosecuted by state authorities for failure to report communicable diseases, but the careless practice is still continued. A great improvement can be made if the medical colleges will devote more time to this phase of the work—if medical students are taught the importance of reporting births, communicable diseases and venereal diseases. In this city a new system is in practice and is effective. Every physician who wilfully fails to report communicable diseases is given a written notice with a copy of the sanitary code covering

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