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August 1, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVII(5):271. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430830041003

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Since the earliest ages it has been a favorite theory that diseases come upon mankind through the medium of the atmosphere; and even at the present day there are to be found some, who assume with Sydenham an epidemic constitution of the atmosphere to account for the occurrence of certain wide spread diseases. An enormous amount of work has been done by doctors and others in observing and recording the weather, but very little has been accomplished in the way of collating these observations. It is so easy to observe and place on record, but it requires much time and labor and qualities of a different and higher order to compare and generalize. Samuel Forry of the United States Army collated in 1840 the meteorologic observations made during the preceding twenty years by the medical officers at the various military posts of this country, but since then not much has

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