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February 24, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(8):449-452. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24610080001001

Typhoid fever is an acute infectious fever, caused by a specific microbe—the bacillus typhosus. It is a filth disease and a so-called water-borne infection. The bacterium gains access to the body, in the great majority of cases, through the ingesta. Water is the usual carrier. Contaminated milk or other food, and dust laden with the bacillus, either inhaled or swallowed, are sources of the infection. Upon the local and state boards of health devolves the question of the manner of typhoid contamination of water and food and the measures which may correct the evil. Upon the practitioner, however, falls a responsibility which is very important in respect to prophylaxis.

The bacillus finds egress from the body of the patient chiefly by the feces and the urine. The infected excreta may contaminate all objects and materials with which they come in contact. The soiled person and clothing of the patient and