Disinfection in this connection refers to that sort which is commonly carried out by health officials after death, or recovery, from contagious diseases. The paper has no reference to that continuous attention to cleanliness—"medical antisepsis" the French call it—which is desirable in the management of contagious cases. This terminal disinfection, if one may so call it, occupies a high place in public sanitation. A reader of works on hygiene would conclude that disinfection is held in equal esteem with isolation, or is perhaps of even more importance, for it is sometimes expected to work wonders in the prevention of disease where there has been no isolation, as, for instance, the official disinfection after a case of tuberculosis when for years there may have been no attempt on the part of the patient to prevent the infection of others.
Official disinfection costs money and is annoying. Its only excuse
CHAPIN CV. THE FETICH OF DISINFECTION. JAMA. 1906;XLVII(8):574–580. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.25210080026002f
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