It may be granted to be axiomatic that the more complete our knowledge of the cause of a disease the more perfect our prophylaxis and the more rational our treatment. The more we have to deal with conjecture concerning etiology the more uncertain our efforts at control and the more empiric our treatment.
A review of recent progress in the treatment of leprosy necessarily goes hand in hand with a recapitulation of advances made in the search for data relating to its propagation and transmission.
While the lepra bacillus of Hansen is generally conceded to be the specific cause of the disease, its route of entry is unknown, and many important questions concerning contagion remain unsettled.
The theory of direct hereditary transmission is practically disproved.
The precise manner in which leprosy is acquired is as yet unsettled. The theory that the disease is caused by the eating of decayed fish
CHIPMAN ED. THE ETIOLOGY AND TREATMENT OF LEPROSY. JAMA. 1915;LXV(11):934–939. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02580110020006
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