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January 23, 1909


JAMA. 1909;LII(4):302-303. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02540300042008

In his report on the status of leprosy in the Hawaiian Islands Dr. Brinckerhoff,1 director of the Leprosy Investigation Station at Molokai, gives some interesting data which indicate the necessity for thorough study of this disease, especially the means by which it is transmitted. While the cause of leprosy, the Bacillus leprœ, was discovered years ago by Hansen, almost nothing is known about its mode of transmission and other problems important in effecting control of the disease. The statistics indicate that in spite of the system of segregation which has been in operation for over forty years, the disease is steadily making progress, not only among the native population but also among the other races on the islands. The statistics available show that in 1876 1.35 per cent. of the entire native population were lepers; in 1900,2 2.5 per cent, were thus afflicted. This increase may be partially