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October 7, 1893


JAMA. 1893;XXI(15):544. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420670034011

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The death of Dr. Thomas Richards at North Brothers' Island of smallpox is very sad. It may be said to be the result of mistaken diagnosis, and carelessness upon his part in not being properly protected by vaccination. He contracted the disease from a case of supposed chicken pox that was brought before the Vanderbilt clinique, which afterward proved to be smallpox.

This is not the first time that a mishap of this character has occurred. It is simply impossible always in the early stages to differentiate these diseases. The man who says he can always diagnose a mild case of smallpox or varioloid has only encountered typical cases, or has had but a limited experience. Experience has taught that the only safe way is to treat such cases as suspects, and wait for development. Bringing uncertain cases of this character before classes during a clinique is unsafe, so long

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