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August 11, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(6):360. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460320030009

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The reports from Cape Nome, Alaska, do not indicate a very satisfactory sanitary condition at that point. The rush of 20,000 or more reckless gold-seekers into a region as little fitted probably for such an increase of population as can be found has raised some serious sanitary problems for the local officials and physicians. The country, excepting on the hill slopes, is a saturated sponge of moss wherever the frost has left, and, though pools and streams exist, good water is nevertheless scarce. It is easy to see what unsanitary conditions may arise under such circumstances; typhoid, intestinal disorders, etc., are very likely to be prevalent and serious epidemics are a possibility. As the season advances and the supply route by sea is closed, the food question becomes a factor, and dietetic disorders such as scurvy are likely to prevail. At all times the rheumatic virus, whatever it may be,

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