Original article| Volume 5, ISSUE 8, P502-511, May 1920

Bacteriologic data on the epidemiology of respiratory diseases in the army

  • Henry J. Nichols
    From the Laboratory of the Base Hospital, Camp Meade, Md. USA

    From the Laboratory Service of the Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, D. C. USA

    From the Department of Pathology of the Army Medical School, Washington, D. C. USA
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      • 1.
        1. Hemolytic streptococci were used as test organisms in collecting data on the possible routes of spread of the specific causes of respiratory diseases.
      • 2.
        2. No evidence was found to support the theory that these organisms spread through dish water.
        • 2.1.
          (a) Fingers of only 17 per cent of carriers showed streptococci, and only in small numbers.
        • 2.2.
          (b) Dish water showed no streptococci except when no soap was used.
        • 2.3.
          (c) Infection of the mouth did not occur when streptococci were smeared on the lips.
        • 2.4.
          (d) Soapy dish water is antiseptic for streptococci if of proper reaction and made with proper soap.
      • 3.
        3. Evidence was found that intestinal organisms can spread through dish water.
        • 3.1.
          (a) Colon bacilli were found on hands of nearly one-third of troops.
        • 3.2.
          (b) They were found in dish water down to Math Eq of a c.c. in some cases.
        • 3.3.
          (c) Soapy dish water has no antiseptic action on colon bacilli.
      • 4.
        4. Evidence was also found to support the inhalation theory.
        • 4.1.
          (a) Droplets with streptococci remain suspended for several hours.
        • 4.2.
          (b) The air of streptococcus wards contains streptococci for several hours after men have retired.
      • 5.
        5. The use of boiling dish and rinse water is indicated not to prevent spread of respiratory diseases, but to prevent spread of intestinal diseases.
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