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December 14, 1889


JAMA. 1889;XIII(24):851-852. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02401200021004

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Not least among the advances of the century is the establishment of the fact that phthisis may be transmitted. The labors of Lister taught the value of cleanliness even to those surgeons who do not accept all of his conclusions, and the investigations of Koch have done a like service to the general practitioner. There are many who are yet unable to decide whether the bacillus tuberculosis is the cause or the result of phthisis; indeed, the feeble response that is made to the most approved methods of administration of the most available germicides, suggests very forcibly the thought that other factors may be equally necessary to the causation of consumption, and that the bacillus is not alone all powerful for evil.

However this may be, one thing seems to have been clearly demonstrated regarding the etiology of phthisis, and that is, that the disease is transmissible; that it can

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