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November 5, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXXI(19):1077-1080. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.92450190001002

This topic is one of great practical interest. Fournier has wisely remarked that "nothing is so dangerous to its surroundings as a syphilitic infant," 1 and it can not be without interest and value to discuss a subject so vitally connected with the welfare of many of those whom we are called upon to treat. The subject of hereditary syphilis is such a vast one that it is difficult to determine just what points to present, and each aspect is capable of development far beyond the proper limits of these introductory remarks.

First, it may be said that our consideration will be confined to hereditary syphilis, as distinguished from the broader subject of infantile syphilis; for the latter properly includes that acquired after birth in innumerable ways, such as in nursing, feeding, vaccination, circumcision, and many others, and even a primary sore acquired while passing through the mother's parts.