Pneumonia has always attracted the earnest attention of physicians, from the times of Hippocrates and Galen to the present. Under its malign influence many illustrious persons have fallen, from Alexander the Great and Charlemagne to those of yesterday. It has appeared as local and widespread epidemics, and has always, in temperate regions especially, figured largely in mortality reports. It is, in many places, the greatest cause of death and its prevalence is notably increasing. Its cause is known, but definite and acceptable rules for prevention and treatment have not, as yet, been formulated. Taken as a whole it is the greatest medical problem of the day.
Pneumonia is an acute infectious disease, with definite symptoms and anatomic changes, due to the presence and exuberant growth of the pneumococcus in the pulmonary alveoli. It probably obtains entrance into the air cells of the lung from the upper respiratory passages, where it
WELLS EF. PNEUMONIA.ITS FATALITY AND INCREASING PREVALENCE, WITH SUGGESTIONS FOR INDIVIDUAL AND COMMUNAL PROPHYLAXIS.. JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(20):1231–1234. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.52480460009001a
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