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July 29, 1893

CONCEALMENT OF EPIDEMICS.

JAMA. 1893;XXI(5):173. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420570033008

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Abstract

If any lesson has been thoroughly learned by the sanitary authorities of the United States, it is that concealment of the first cases of contagious disease is a dangerous and costly practice. We observe that the authorities of Naples are now making denial of the existence of cholera. Marseilles and Toulon similarly denied its existence until the deaths from the disease became so numerous that it could no longer be concealed. The policy of concealment is always adopted under specious pleas of the damage to commerce, the carrying trade and travel. It induces false security on the part of the local inhabitants, and is cruel to those who unwittingly get caught in the trap. Worse, however, by encouraging free ingress to the stricken city, and having no inspection of those going out of it, the epidemic is made more violent in the place itself, and spreads to a greater number

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