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Quarantine regulations are enacted and rigorously enforced in cases of cholera, smallpox and other contagious and infectious diseases, while the most dreadful scourge the human race has ever known—a disease which causes the death of more human lives than any and all other infectious and contagious diseases combined—is permitted to spread its frightful ravages without the slightest interference from medical, municipal, State or national authorities, and that disease is tuberculosis. Quarantine is declared against epidemics of a hundred or a thousand cases of cholera or yellow fever, and yet no laws reach consumption, although over 150,000 deaths occur annually in the United States from this disease alone. If this enormous death rate from any one disease does not constitute an epidemic, I should like to know what it might be termed.
To indicate how it is contracted—for it is never inherited—it is only necessary to quote such high authority as
ANDERSON W. TUBERCULOSIS AND ITS PREVENTION.Read in the Section on State Medicine, at the Forty-fifth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, held at San Francisco. June 5-8, 1894. JAMA. 1894;XXIII(8):300–305. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02421130010001e
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