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September 1, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(9):559-560. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460350029003

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Concerning the dependence of tuberculosis on the tubercle bacillus, and the transmissibility of the disease, there is no longer any serious difference of opinion. The quibble as to whether we shall employ the qualification "infectious" or "contagious," as applied to tuberculosis, may now be relegated into obscurity. An infectious disease is one that is dependent on a specific cause that is capable of indefinite multiplication and through which it is susceptible of unlimited reproduction. Such a disease is necessarily transmissible or communicable by direct contact, through the intermediation of air, water, food, or other fomites, or a third person not necessarily suffering from the disease, but like the inanimate intermediaries acting only as a carrier of the infective material. In the category of such diseases belongs, among others, tuberculosis. Now, the especial danger of tuberculosis lies in the fact that the infective agents on which the morbid process depends are

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