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August 26, 1905


Author Affiliations

Instructor in Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania; Assistant Visiting Pediatrist and Physician in Charge of the Children's Dispensary. University Hospital; Assistant Physician in the Medical Dispensary, Children's Hospital; Assistant Medical Inspector, Bureau of Health. PHILADELPHIA.

JAMA. 1905;XLV(9):594-597. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.52510090016001c

During the hot summer months, the mortality from diarrhea among infants and young children is very great. Attention has frequently been called to this during the last five years, and much has already been accomplished by the health officials of the large cities of the United States in the prophylaxis of summer diarrhea.

Summer diarrheas are due chiefly to two causes, unclean food and hot weather. Bacteria of various sorts, whether introduced from without in the food, or already present in the intestine, are undoubtedly the exciting causes; but they seem unable to act deleteriously until the vital resistance of the child has first been decidedly weakened by protracted heat or humidity. Hot weather may also bring about deterioration of the milk, which forms the baby's usual food, by favoring the increased production of bacteria in the milk.

As the chief cause of what Dunn1 so aptly calls "thermic