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May 31, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(22):1445. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480220031007

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In a recent number of the Lancet, Dr. W. Howship Dickinson reviews certain facts with special reference to the germ theory of disease, in what seems to us a very sensible way. At the present time the discovery of a microbe in a disease conforming to the recognized criteria of pathogenicity, is too commonly accepted as ending discussion as to its treatment—we must keep out the germ of infection and the disease is conquered. Hence, the premature and exaggerated deductions as to the importance of isolation, disinfection, etc.—all measures good in themselves and absolutely essential in many infections, but by no means so much so or so beneficial in certain others where their all-importance is at the present time so much agitated. We must keep in mind that the soil as well as the seed is essential and the human organism does not in all cases and at all times

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