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October 14, 1905


Author Affiliations

Major and Surgeon U. S. Army. PLATTSBURG BARRACKS, N. Y.

JAMA. 1905;XLV(16):1160-1163. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.52510160034002f

The experience gained by the American military surgeons during the Philippine cholera epidemic of 1902 and 1903 has enabled them to correct a few errors in the current theories as to the methods of the spread of this dreadfully fatal disease. From their knowledge of the biologic characters of the spirillum, they were forced into an investigation, first, of the manner in which the living germ was transported into uninfected territory, and, second, of the manner in which it was carried from patient to patient after it was planted in this new territory. The spirillum is a very frail organism, which leads practically a parasitic existence, for it soon perishes outside of the host. Experimentally, it has been determined that it is killed in five minutes by a temperature of 80 C., in two hours by drying, and more quickly still if dried in the sunlight. Hence, as an invariable

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