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November 5, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXXI(19):1119-1120. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02450190045008

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It may be stated as a general hygienic principle, that is, one in regard to which medical authorities are generally agreed, that compulsory notification of infectious diseases is an indispensable adjunct to the medical defense of the public from their ravages. The public itself, with its dread of these maladies, far greater than that felt by the physician himself, falls in readily with the idea, and endures and imposes inconveniences none the less serious because they are voluntarily assumed. This is true as regards some disorders at the present time that were not long since hardly reckoned as seriously infectious, and which were consequently allowed to propagate themselves freely, in many communities at least. It is probable, or at least possible, that the number of disorders that will be held as reportable is by no means complete, and that with our increasing knowledge of germs and their action in producing

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