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July 11, 1914

The Plague in the Sixteenth Century and Now

JAMA. 1914;LXIII(2):183. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570020051023

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To the Editor:  —In connection with the recent reported occurrence of a few cases of bubonic plague in New Orleans, it may be interesting to take a glance backward and see how times have changed and the world has moved, particularly through the intellectual development of the medical profession as regards preventive hygiene or sanitary science.In Reyburn's "Life of John Calvin," the theologian, published this year, mention is made of the outbreak of plague at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1543, and he quotes a letter by John Calvin dated March 27, 1545, as follows:"A conspiracy of men and women has been discovered, who for the space of three years have spread the plague through the city, by what means I know not. Fifteen women have been burnt. Some men have been punished even more severely. Some have committed suicide in prison. Twenty-five are still in custody. Notwithstanding, the conspirators

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