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July 13, 1895


JAMA. 1895;XXV(2):78-79. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430280036008

Among the interesting facts we owe to bacteriology is the discovery that so-called healthy persons are the lodging places of myriads of bacteria, powdering their skins, dwelling in the cavities and orifices of the body, mouth, nose, throat, intestines, etc. Taking the nose, we should expect to find a large number of microörganisms in its cavities, both from its anatomic construction and its function. It is calculated that 500 litres of air, bearing on a low average 1,500 bacteria, are inspired every hour.1 These microbes of the healthy nose have been investigated by Hajek, Löwenberg, Frankel, von Besser, Paulsen, St. Clair, Thomson and Hewlett, among others.

A great diversity of opinions are arrived at by these observers; the first two, as also Thomson and Hewlett, found a scarcity of bacteria in the nose, while the others all found a greater or lesser number. Some found a number of pathogenic organisms