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December 14, 1889

Is Small-Pox Contagious before the Eruption Appears?

JAMA. 1889;XIII(24):864-865. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02401200034011

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To the Editor:  —A man afflicted with small-pox walked our streets one day last week, causing no small degree of popular and journalistic agitation. A prominent physician who had examined the case is reported as saying: " I do not know that small-pox is contagious in the first three or four days, before the eruption comes out."I can assure the profession that this malady is contagious in the pre-eruptive stage, and will now adduce a case in point: One night during the year ending July 1, 1872, a young German clerk sought admittance to the Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, N. Y. The Superintendent, William V. Blower, arose from his bed to admit the patient, but although not a medical man himself, upon seeing and questioning him he suspected the malady might be a contagious one, and as such were not admissible, he awoke me for advice. Although

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