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May 29, 1909


JAMA. 1909;LII(22):1764-1765. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02540480034010

Not long ago it was generally considered that practically all cases of typhoid were due to polluted drinking water, and some enthusiasts even ventured the statement that the amount of typhoid in a city affords a very fair idea of the purity of its public water supply. The acquisition of new data, however, is bringing about in this field, as in so many others, what might almost be styled a reversal of opinion. Not that there is any doubt on the part of any competent authority as to the large part sewage-contaminated water has played and is still playing in the transmission of typhoid fever, but there is no longer a tendency to minimize or to ignore other causes. One really astonishing circumstance is that after an infected water supply has been purified or replaced by a purer source the residuum of typhoid fever is still very great. A recent