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July 13, 1907


JAMA. 1907;XLIX(2):110-114. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.25320020014001d

Although gonorrhea was known to the ancients and ophthalmia neonatorum to the early Greeks and Arabians,1 the true relation of the parent disease to its affiliated inflammations of the eye was still very imperfectly understood even at the beginning of the eighteenth century. While many of the primitive physicians appear to have fully recognized the ophthalmia of infants, it was not until 17502 that it was believed to depend on the vaginal discharge of the mother. Before this the theories as to its origin were rather vague, the old physicians of India, for example, ascribing it to the bad character of the mother's milk. In later years the ophthalmia of adults was thought by some to be due to gonorrheal virus seeking another outlet in consequence of suppression of the urethral discharge. Acting on this view Jüngken3 recommended, in his text-book, the reestablishment of the flow from

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