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April 16, 1892

LECTURES ON GENERAL ETIOLOGY.Delivered at the Chicago Medical College.

JAMA. 1892;XVIII(16):483-486. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02411200011001d


One of the conditions determining the occurrence of certain infections is the act of "taking cold." The dread of this event has such a hold on public belief, that it is difficult to sift the truth out of the immense array of alleged instances in which patients attribute diseases to "cold." Chilling of the body is such a common occurrence, and is followed by disease in but so small a proportion of cases, that we can infer a causal relation to the subsequent malady only when we can obtain, with some regularity and precision, the history of cooling of the surface preceding a given form of disease in numerous instances, and within a definite period of time. This is the case in acute nasal catarrh. On the basis of its pathology and clinical history, we must regard acute suppurative rhinitis as an infection, although the virus has not