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November 11, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLV(20):1503. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02510200049010

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One of the leading New York newspapers publishes the astonishing statement in its New Orleans correspondence that during the recent yellow-fever epidemic 3,000,000,000 of 1/100 gr. arsenic tablets were consumed in that city and vicinity as the result of the allegation of a Minnesota physician that arsenic is a preventive of yellow fever. The correspondent goes on to figure out the weight and bulk of these tablets; that they amounted to 26 tons and would fill a space of 7,000 cubic feet. The correspondent estimates that the people in and about New Orleans spent an aggregate of 2,083,409 days swallowing tablets, allowing one minute a dose. All this is soberly set down in the New York World, and was paid for at newspaper telegraph rates. The reader who is interested can figure out further absurdities at his leisure.

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