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July 15, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(3):168. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450550052012

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Infection by telephone is again to the front. A Chicago doctor has found germs and calls attention of the public to the same. The Board of Health is called on to act and the newspapers have a fresh topic for scare-heads and sensational articles. The Journal has already expressed an opinion on this subject, but under the circumstances it may be justifiable to notice a few facts that were not stated before. The whole subject of infection by telephone was gone over by the Health Department of Chicago four or five years ago and with the result that in all the public telephones examined no evidence of special danger of infection was discovered. The use of the transmitter requires no direct contact or inhalation if the user keeps at the proper distance, and therefore the peril is not excessive even if germs exist. As they have not been found to

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