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October 30, 1897

Lepers of New York Turned Loose by the Board of Health.

JAMA. 1897;XXIX(18):922-923. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440440048012

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New York, Oct. 20, 1897.

To the Editor:  —The public be d—! Whether leprosy is contagious or not does not seem to be the question with our New York Board of Health. The point is to escape responsibility, care and trouble. Let the leper go; we are glad to get rid of him on any terms!It is a lamentable circumstance that such devil-may-carelessness should exist just on the point where it can do the most evil. New York is the most important port of our country. The lepers are foreigners; most of them come from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, South America and the West Indies to New York. Most of the lepers who live in Minnesota and Wisconsin came through New York. Had they remained here instead of going to those far-off States, would the New York Board of Health dare to have let them run loose? Horrified public opinion

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