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July 5, 1965


JAMA. 1965;193(1):61. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090010067018

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An outbreak of infectious syphilis in a small southern city is described in this issue of The Journal (p 13). Many lessons may be learned from the manner in which it was handled and the procedures used to bring it to a successful conclusion.

A physician discovered a case of early infectious syphilis, and reported it to the health department. At the same time he requested the department's assistance in interviewing his private patient and studying the immediate epidemiological background. Further epidemiologic investigation led to similar requests from 14 other practicing physicians in the area, when reporting their cases of early infectious syphilis.

This teamwork between practicing physicians and the health department demonstrates the effectiveness of cooperation in attack against a serious health problem of today. Such cooperation between private medicine and public health is essential if syphilis in this country is ever to be controlled.

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