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November 20, 1897


JAMA. 1897;XXIX(21):1073-1074. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440470041005

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All the indications point to the establishment at last, in this country, of a National bureau or department of public health. The yellow fever outbreak of the current year has fortuitously and fortunately directed the attention of the people to the urgent necessity for a better organized system of National supervision over the gateways of the seaboard by which epidemic diseases gain admission. The makeshift methods of recent years, utilizing the expedients of a special bureau created for an entirely different purpose, clinical only and not sanitary in its aims, have proved to be ineffective, and the most dreaded of pestilential diseases has actually gained entrance under the very eyes and nose of the much vaunted guardian. Again, the lesson has been taught that the loss of life, the paralysis of business, commercial disaster and disturbed trade relations have footed up to millions, when as many thousands wisely expended by

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