By epidemic diseases we usually consider diseases which are contagious or infectious. I wish to include within this group all other diseases which may attack an unusual number of persons within a short space of time, as trichinæ "poisoning," disease resulting from the ingestion of diseased meats and other foods, poisoning from canned goods, diarrhceal disease resulting from the ingestion of contaminated milk, tuberculosis as disseminated by man or infected milk or flesh of animals so diseased—in fact any sudden onset of a number of cases in which often the physician is at a loss to make a diagnosis, but which by eliminative investigation proves to be due to some common cause, as contamination of milk, water supply, or air. Any control which may be of practical and most valuable service in such sudden outbreaks must be prompt.
It has been customary for several years in most cities to keep
SWARTS GT. THE CONTROL OF EPIDEMIC DISEASES. Read before the Section of State Medicine, at the Fortieth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, June, 1889. JAMA. 1890;XIV(14):496–499. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410140012002a
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