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Chicago, May 24, 1904.
To the Editor:
—The crusade for popular education against tuberculosis suggests the reminder that another endemic infection, syphilis, could be eradicated far more quickly, surely and easily than can tuberculosis. While the proportion of our adult population already syphilized is indeterminate—being variously estimated at 5 to 15 per cent.—yet the rapid increase of this proportion is universally admitted; and we are just beginning to appreciate the extent and variety of the ravages of remote syphilis in the internal organs.This disease can be restricted, not by licensing prostitutes— already proven a failure in Europe—nor by educating youth to chastity, for this laudable effort is proved impotent against the polygamous instinct of the mammalian male; but by making the acquisition of syphilis by the male practically impossible through circumcision.It is notorious that Jews furnish relatively few cases of syphilis; that this immunity is not due to
Belfield WT. The Prevention of Syphilis.. JAMA. 1904;XLII(26):1692–1693. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490710024009
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