Bacteriologists who have worked with the gonococcus of Neisser insist that it is an organism that is very refractory to cultivation outside of the living body, and that when it is removed from its usual habitat it dies very promptly. Immersion of gonorrheal pus in water, drying of the pus, or even simple exposure to air is said by some authorities to be sufficient to destroy the life of the gonococcus. Accepting the theory that the infectious nature of the discharge depends entirely on the specific organism, it would appear from this that it would be next to impossible to convey gonorrhea from one person to another in any way except by direct contact of surfaces subject to its invasion. This opinion might easily cause very serious complications from a medicolegal standpoint, and lead to the conviction of innocent parties accused of criminal procedure. The teaching of the laboratory in
O'DONOVAN C. MAY NOT GONORRHEAL VULVOVAGINITIS BE ACQUIRED BY CHILDREN INDIRECTLY? JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(11):658–659. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24610110018001e
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