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February 27, 1897

PHTHISIS WARDS IN ITALIAN HOSPITALS SIX DECADES AGO.

JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(9):424. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440090042007

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Abstract

The contagious nature of phthisis was an accepted doctrine with the Irish Royal College of Surgeons and the Scotch and continental schools with which it was in affiliation, nearly two centuries ago. The opinion as to the contagious nature of phthisis lasted longest in Italy and Spain. In Naples no one could conceal phthisis under penalty of three years at the galleys for common people and three years imprisonment and a fine of 300 ducats for the nobility. A physician who failed to report phthisis was liable to a fine of 300 ducats for the first offense and a banishment of ten years for the second. To aid a consumptive in the invasion of quarantine was punishable by fine and six months imprisonment. In Spain and Italy consumption was literally a "terror" to the community. In 1839 George Sand traveled in Spain with Chopin, the musician, then affected with the

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