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January 11, 1908


JAMA. 1908;L(2):127. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530280043009

The valuable observations of the India Plague Commission were recently referred to as demonstrating that the flea is an important factor in the transmission of plague from rat to man,1 and in all probability the only essential one in the propagation of the disease in epidemic form. The belief in this method of transmission had previously been confirmed by numerous epidemiologic observations in different parts of the world, and has had an important influence in the adoption of measures for the prevention and suppression of the disease.

It is evidently becoming more and more recognized that man plays a relatively unimportant part in the propagation of plague, and that measures taken with respect to him and his personal effects can influence the spread of the disease only to the same proportionately limited extent. Scientific experiments and practical observation have also shown that ordinary disinfection alone of infected areas and