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February 3, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVI(5):366. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02510320052010

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For the steady progress in bettering health conditions at the Isthmus, Colonel Gorgas deserves great credit. On January 16, he reported that there was no quarantinable disease of any kind. During December there was but one case of yellow fever on the Isthmus. The morbidity continued very low, the rate being 19 to the 1,000. The heaviest death rate was due to pneumonia among the negroes, who do not use the precautions that white men exercise. The excellent report is an effective answer to the recent severe criticisms by Poultney Bigelow in the Independent. This correspondent criticized the insanitary location of Colon over a swamp, the poor houses, poor arrangements for disposing of night soil, etc., and called attention to the "absurd" system of sanitation which pays so much attention to mosquito work and fumigation. In reply to all such criticisms, Colonel Gorgas simply calls attention to the fact that

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