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July 12, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(2):83-84. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480280025004

It would be too bad if out of all the expense, dread, suffering and mortality of the present smallpox epidemic no definite benefit were to accrue to medicine. The price would almost seem not too dear to have been paid if out of the opportunities afforded for the investigation of the disease some hopeful method of diagnosing smallpox early in its course should be evolved. Immediate recognition and especially some means of absolutely differentiating from chicken-pox light cases of smallpox that may occur in a community would be invaluable to prevent the spread of the disease. It is the neglected or unsuspected original cases in any given locality that prove sources of infection. Detection of the nature of the disease before many persons have been exposed to contagion from it would soon cause epidemics to be very limited in their spread, and might, even with the present generalization of vaccination,