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February 3, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVI(5):365. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02510320051007

An enthusiastic sanitary engineer is said to have remarked a few years ago that if all public supplies of drinking water could be obtained from unpolluted sources or purified by sand filtration, typhoid fever would soon become extinct. Far be it from us to decry the importance of infected water in disseminating typhoid fever, or to cause less stress to be laid on the sand filtration of municipal water supplies. No one with an understanding of the facts can doubt that during the last few decades contaminated water has been the chief means by which this insidious disease has been kept alive and distributed to widening circles in all civilized countries. The recent improvements in the quality of water supplies—a matter in which to our humiliation the United States still lags behind the leading countries of Europe—have had the secondary effect of directing attention to the existence of other