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October 20, 1917


Author Affiliations

Colonel, Medical Corps, U. S. Army; Professor of Military Hygiene, Army Medical School WASHINGTON, D. C.

JAMA. 1917;LXIX(16):1345-1346. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.25910430003012a

The science and practice of military hygiene, not so many years ago, in the field at least and on a large scale, was in a somewhat unsatisfactory state. It is true that we had ideas on the subject—many of them good ones—but some very important things were not known even so recently as the Spanish-American War. For instance, our ideas were comparatively hazy as to the methods of transference of typhoid fever; we did not know that flies act as vectors, and we had but crude notions as to the effect of contact in spreading the disease. The average physician knew little about the microscopic diagnosis of malaria. Much of the typhoid fever in our army camps was erroneously called malaria—to the considerable detriment of the sanitary situation. Again, we did not appreciate the great importance of what we now call "carriers" in the propagation of infectious disease, and consequently