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August 7, 1897


JAMA. 1897;XXIX(6):274-275. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440320018001h

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In 1870 Selmi discovered the ptomains, and later Bouchard pointed out the rôle the ptomains play in infectious diseases; knowing the lesions of typhoid fever and its cause many physicians then came to the conclusion that intestinal antiseptics should be employed in this disease. Silver nitrate was employed in 1860 by Joseph Bell of Glasgow, and later by William Pepper of Philadelphia, who treated 100 consecutive cases without a death. As early as 1883, Da Costa employed thymol with good success; ever since thymol has gained in favor. Naphthalin was praised by Rosbach as an abortive in typhoid fever; Kraemer in 1886, Wilcox in 1887, Sehwald in 1889 and Wolff of Philadelphia in 1891 confirmed Rosbach's observations. Mules (British Medical Journal, Feb. 27, 1892) reported that many cases of typhoid could be aborted with naphthol. Salol, calomel, beta-naphthol, turpentine, and mineral acids have received their share of praise.

According to

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