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January 19, 1895


JAMA. 1895;XXIV(3):96-97. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430030026006

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An observant correspondent of the Journal—Dr. W. H. Sharp, of Parkersburg, West Va.,—calls attention to what he kindly styles " a clerical error " in the editorial comment on " Smallpox in 1894," published in the issue of January 5. It was therein attempted to contrast the mortality from smallpox in the ante-Jennerian period—96 smallpox deaths out of every 1,000 deaths from all causes—with the actual number of deaths from smallpox in 1894— less than 3,000 out of a total of 1,170,000 deaths from all causes, or about 2.5 smallpox deaths out of every 1,000 deaths from all causes. As printed in the Journal the number of deaths from smallpox out of the total deaths was given as 12,300, instead of the correct figures 112,300, thus weakening the arithmetical force of the argument for vaccination by about nine-tenths, as Dr. Sharp points out.

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