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March 12, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLII(11):715-716. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490560025015

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Panama Canal problems are numerous enough, but one complicates them all, namely, the question of sanitation. It was one of the arguments used in favor of the Nicaragua route that it is comparatively healthful, and it certainly has no such record as that of the Panama isthmus. It was said that when the railroad was built across the isthmus every tie cost a human life, and the French Canal Company, which our government proposes to succeed, had a history not much more encouraging as regards the healthfulness of the work. There is no doubt that much of the mortality that went with the work of the past can be avoided in the future; that is, if the sanitary arrangements be under the absolute control of some one who understands what preventive measures are needed, and who will see that those measures are adopted. Our knowledge of tropical disorders has greatly

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