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February 7, 1891


JAMA. 1891;XVI(6):201-202. doi:10.1001/jama.1891.02410580021004

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Up to the present time, two methods have been proposed and successfully practiced in the treatment of the so-called infectious diseases. Three of these diseases, small pox, anthrax and hydrophobia, we believe, are successfully stayed in their destructive course by the immunity which follows an infection with the attenuated virus of the respective disease. For small-pox, we have two methods equally successful, "inoculation" and " vaccination." They are practically illustrations of attenuation of infection produced in two different ways.

Only one of the chronic infectious diseases, syphilis, has so far been successfully treated, and by a method radically and entirely different. The remedial effect of mercury and iodine upon this disease is as anomalous as it is unparalleled. It is not to be compared with the treatment of malaria by quinine. To state the matter simply: three acute infectious diseases are successfully treated by attenuated infection, and one chronic infectious disease

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