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Article
July 27, 1912

THE NECESSITY FOR RODENT EXTERMINATION IN AMERICAN SEAPORTS

Author Affiliations

Assistant Surgeon-General, U. S. Public Health and Marine-Hospital Service WASHINGTON, D. C.

JAMA. 1912;LIX(4):243-244. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270070242002
Abstract

The rodent is the twentieth-century anachronism. He is as archaic as the neolithic midden to which he is coeval, and yet to-day we tolerate him, permit him to devastate our storehouses and to act as the intermediary vehicle for the transference of the organisms of disease between his loathsome carcass and the body of man. The toleration which we have shown for this inhabitant of the sewer and frequenter of the dump is perhaps due to the fact that man is by nature a lazy animal and will make no unnecessary effort unless spurred to it by some circumstance in his environment. It has been necessary for plague to ravage the world many times before man has learned well the lesson that the rat and his confrères, the mouse and the ground-squirrel, are among the most deadly animals with which he has to deal.

That rodents are the carriers of

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