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May 9, 1908


JAMA. 1908;L(19):1498-1502. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25310450008001c

With the possible exception of tuberculosis, there is probably no disease which has been more widely discussed than typhoid fever. The discovery of its cause and modes of distribution, placing it in the list of preventable diseases, furnishes one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of medicine. The pathologic changes found are probably more widely known by the profession and the laity than those of any other disease, but there is still a great difference of opinion as to its treatment.

What are the indications for treatment? Rest for an inflamed or ulcerated tissue is a law in surgery. It applies as well to an inflamed or ulcerated tissue due to the specific poison of typhoid fever as it does to an ulcer of the stomach. The mere fact that the treatment is in the sphere of internal medicine does not justify the physician in ignoring surgical principles.