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August 21, 1943


JAMA. 1943;122(17):1187. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840340035013

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The exact effects of substandard housing on the health of the inhabitants are difficult to estimate; generally it is accepted that illness may be directly fostered by bad housing conditions. The concept of bad housing includes overcrowding; overcrowding alone facilitates the spread of certain infectious diseases, particularly tuberculosis, other contagious diseases of the respiratory system, and such diseases as diphtheria, scarlet fever and meningitis. Insanitary dwellings are usually overrun with rats, which also spread some diseases such as typhus. Insanitary conditions for disposal of excreta and improper central water supply, food and milk are more frequent in both urban and rural substandard housing areas. Typhoid and the dysenteries flourish in these regions. In some places mosquito breeding pools and unscreened dwellings are conducive to excessive malaria among the residents. The venereal diseases also are excessive in substandard and overcrowded housing regions. Diseases due to deficient vitamins or food and lack

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