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May 3, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(18):1163. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480180041004

Notwithstanding the probability that syphilis is dependent upon a bacterial cause, and despite the utmost industry in the search therefor, it can not be said with certainty that the specific agent has yet been isolated. The local invasion, the glandular enlargement, the period of incubation, the constitutional phenomena, the cutaneous eruptions, the gummata, all are the marks of an infectious disease. So many points of resemblance to other diseases of this group does syphilis present that it is likely often to be confounded with them unless one be constantly on his guard. By keeping this fact always in mind and by acquiring familiarity with the distinctive character of the lesions, the likelihood of error may be reduced to a minimum. The diagnosis once made, the treatment fortunately is clear and we have in mercury.and iodin, alone or together, one of the few forms of specific medication. The need for serum-therapy