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April 6, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(14):970-971. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470140040005

The time has surely long passed when serious doubt prevailed as to the existence of hydrophobia as a distinct entity. It is unfortunately true that the hypothetic micro-organism of this disease remains yet undiscovered, but the same statement is applicable equally to other disorders concerning whose identity no question is raised, and which it seems perfectly safe to consider as infectious and therefore of micro-organismal origin, as for instance, measles, chicken-pox, scarlet fever, whoopingcough, rheumatism, smallpox, and typhus fever. Even for some of these, causative micro-organisms have been described, but not with the demonstrativeness and constancy necessary to carry conviction and compel acceptance. With regard to rabies, reliance in diagnosis has been placed in the past upon the biologic method, namely the inoculation of lower animals with an emulsion of the medulla of the suspected animal, but the period of incubation is long and valuable time may be lost by