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Article
January 2, 1904

THE CAUSE OF SCARLET FEVER.

JAMA. 1904;XLII(1):37-38. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490460041005

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Abstract

From time to time announcements are made to the effect that the cause of scarlet fever has been discovered, but so far none of these assertions has received general acceptance. Even the assertion that scarlet fever is a streptococcus disease has not proved itself successful, in spite of the almost constant association of local and general streptococcus infections at least in severe cases of scarlet fever, principally because the streptococci isolated from cases of scarlet fever do not differ from the ordinary streptococci, and because of the further fact that while one attack of scarlet fever, be it ever so mild, confers a permanent immunity to subsequent attacks; this unfortunately does not hold true in regard to the various forms of streptococcus infection with which we are familiar.

It is significant, too, that while the recent studies of smallpox show that more or less extensive streptococcus infection occurs in practically

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