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December 14, 1889


JAMA. 1889;XIII(24):852-853. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02401200022005

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The time perhaps is not far distant when a physician's success will depend largely upon his ability to avoid or avert disease, and not to cure it. Our aim at present, in this direction, is mainly in the way of rendering the excreta of the patient, both solid and aerial, innocuous. Theoretically this can be accomplished in one of several ways; practically none of these ways are perfectly satisfactory. In very many cases—in fact in the bulk of cases—it is impossible to absolutely isolate the patient, and more especially the nurse and attendants. Of what avail is it to fumigate patient and room never so carefully, when all through the course of the disease the nurse has carried about and disseminated through the household the contagium of the disease? Again, is it probable that even hours of fumigating an apartment can destroy the germs carried into its crevices?

In considering

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