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January 15, 1968

The Caduceus Motif and The Guinea Worm

Author Affiliations

Sherbrooke, Que

JAMA. 1968;203(3):234. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140030065024

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To the Editor:—  Boyd describes the mode of removal of this worm, and at the end of his chapter states;"It has been suggested that these worms were the fiery serpents which afflicted the children of Israel, and that Moses was the first in history to demonstrate the classical method of removal by winding the serpent on a rod, gradually drawing it out."I was taught, in addition, that the word "Aesculap" or "Asklepios" can with some stretch of the imagination be considered to have had its origin from two stems, one being "aska" (Ascaris), and the other "Klepto" meaning steal.These explanations, whether true or not, have the charm of labelling the physician, through his symbol, a "worm taker."