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Symposium on Syphilis
October 1916


Author Affiliations

Instructor of Pediatrics at Harvard University; Junior Assistant Visiting Physician to the Children's Hospital BOSTON
From the medical service of the Children's Hospital, Boston.

Am J Dis Child. 1916;XII(4):395-405. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1916.04110160064007

The status of the treatment of hereditary syphilis is today not wholly unlike that of adult syphilis. Up to seven or eight years ago mercury and its salts and potassium iodid had for four hundred years or more done fairly well in all except the very severe cases, in which the patient died. The "cure," as they called it then, or the disappearance of symptoms and visible lesions was slow, often requiring months and years. The perfection of the Wassermann reaction and its intelligent application to treatment, as well as to diagnosis, gradually broadened our conceptions as to the problems of the disease and brought sharp realization that our clinical cures were so in name only and that far longer periods of treatment and observation were necessary. This sane attitude was greatly influenced by the widely heralded appearance of the patented arsenical preparations. Here was the long-sought-for cure, short, safe