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To the Editor:
—The articles on thermometer disinfection by Drs. Beasley and Gros (The Journal, Oct. 21, 1911, p. 1357, and June 8, 1912, p. 1756) have been of much interest. Most of us would prefer a clean thermometer, if any, in our own mouths. And this is easily obtained by washing with plain water, immediately after use, to remove the saliva, and then dropping into an ordinary thermometer case filled with alcohol. The action of alcohol is positive, not irritating to the mouth and the device is handy. In regard to the bactericidal action of alcohol on moist organisms, Harrington reported (Boston Mcd. and Surg. Jour., May 21, 1903) that 90 and 99 per cent, alcohol, i. e., "commercial," is effective against Staphylococcus pyogenes aureus, B. typhosus, B. diphtheriæ and B. coli communis in five minutes. Few of us can make calls quicker than that.
Reed LB. An Antiseptic Thermometer Case. JAMA. 1912;LIX(1):52. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270070054025
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