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October 10, 1885


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1885;V(15):399-400. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02391140007001a

Next to hydrophobia, I know of no isolated non-epidemic disease more dreaded by both the physician and patient than tetanus; a disease much more common in some districts than others, although the localities may be very near each other. I wish to call attention to the two distinct beliefs in its nature. One that it is humoral and zymotic, the other that it is a condition of reflex nerve irritation. Now if it was zymotic in its origin, it should follow a more fixed course of symptoms than any cases that I have seen, or had the pleasure of reading the records of. Take our well known zymotic diseases, and we know the different stages come on regularly and progress with a certain precision in all cases. There may be cases much milder than others, but we never expect to see a case of small-pox end in a week or

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