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December 10, 1892


JAMA. 1892;XIX(24):704. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02420240026006

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The British Medical Journal for November 19 publishes advance proofs from the Münchener medicinische Wochenschrift of an address on cholera by Professor Max von Pettenkofer.

He recalled that many years ago he said that the etiology of cholera was an equation with three unknown quantities, namely: x, a specific germ disseminated by human intercourse; y, a factor dependent on place and time, that he called " local disposition;" and z, the individual predisposition. Places as well as persons often enjoyed immunity, and places which suffered at one time often remained free at another, even when the two factors x and z were present. The determination of y was not as easy as that of the others; but the nature and degree of moisture of the soil had an important influence on this factor.

He thought that the simplicity of Koch's theory commended it to those who only looked at the individual

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