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December 16, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(25):1524-1526. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450770010002d

The object of this paper is to call attention to the fact that scarlet fever is seldom a single infection, and its successful treatment necessitates a knowledge of all the factors contributing to the abnormal condition.

It has not yet been positively demonstrated, at least it is not generally accepted, that the causative agent of scarlet fever is a germ, although there is much evidence to indicate it. Each case seems to come from some other case, and under certain conditions it is known to be highly contagious. It also resembles other diseases which we know are caused by a germ. The difficulty of staining the tubercle bacillus delayed its identification. Some similar characteristic may be preventing the identification of the scarlet fever germ.

During the past winter, Dr. J. W. Class1, Chicago, called the attention of the medical world to a coccus that he found constantly present in