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August 29, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXIII(9):784-785. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570090070022

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It is not surprising perhaps that old ideas concerning the causes of disease survive in some strata of society a long time after these ideas have been generally outgrown or discredited. All the same it is a little disconcerting to find that typhoid fever can still be complacently attributed to bad plumbing. When we read that "insufficient laws regulating plumbing and sanitation in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia are largely responsible for the high typhoid rate and the prevalence of other diseases in the two states and the district," and again that "much of the fever and other forms of disease with which the health authorities are constantly wrestling is caused by noxious gases and vapors emanating from neglected or defective pipes in the homes of the people," we are inclined to rub our eyes and ask ourselves if the education of the community is really proceeding at

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