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April 6, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(14):966-967. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.52470140036001k

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The question of individual prophylaxis includes preventive measures against bacterial and all other diseases and morbid conditions other than inherited structural changes and pathologic processes. What I will say will be limited to a few features of bacterial diseases.

In bacterial diseases we must never lose sight of two groups of factors: 1, the invader and its modifiers, and 2, the defendant and his modifiers. In the case of epidemic diseases the first of these is of supreme importance. However, even here the second is a factor, for even in times of severe epidemic not all of those who inhale or otherwise take in the bacterial cause have the disease, even though they have not the immunity acquired by a previous attack or by intermittent association.

In the case of endemic diseases, the second factor, namely, the individual and his modifiers, becomes of major importance. However, the first factor is

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