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December 8, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(23):1970-1971. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.25910500001015

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The ingenuity of the German mind has long been recognized. During the past three years this ingenuity has made itself felt by devising diabolical schemes for the destruction of life—both combatant and noncombatant. Submarine warfare was expected; liquid fire was a possibility; but poison gas was utterly unknown until used by the Germans during the second battle of Ypres in the spring of 1915. Since then, poison gas has been used by all belligerents with telling effect. Since July 19, 1917, our enemy has used a new preparation which for want of a better name is called "mustard" gas.

The victims of this gas present a clean-cut clinical picture characterized by conjunctivitis with excessive lacrimation, laryngeal and bronchial irritation, and superficial burns. These symptoms are usually preceded by epigastric distress and emesis.

When one is exposed to the gas, an odor not unlike mustard is experienced, followed in a number

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