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this country that has escaped its visitation. Once introduced it has spread from person to person with truly amazing speed. This is partially accounted for by the very short incubation period, from two or four days. This furnishes new foci of infection at a much more rapid rate than is the case with certain other infectious diseases which require from five to twenty days to develop. So much for the progress of the disease, once rooted in the individual, but just how the infection is passed about so widely is a matter that is less easy to explain. Are the causative organisms transmitted from person to person by contact,
are they mixed with dust from salivaladen streets and scattered broadcast by the wind? The trend of modern thought is to regard contact or hand to mouth transmission as by far the more important. It is only at such times as we have just experienced that there is a tendency to question the adequacy of this method. Dust holds out certain allurements because of its ubiquity and there is just enough of the mysterious associated with airborne infection to be in keeping with a disease about which we know so little. Lest we wander too far from the truths which modern public health experience has taught us the following inventory of opportunities for contact transmision of disease is offered.
The writer recorded his chances of acquiring infections for an entire day. This list undoubtedly is typical for the average city dweller.
For the purpose of emphasis the items are recorded in detail:
1. Touched bathroom doorknob. 2. Touched toilet seat. 3. Touched toilet flush handle. 4. Touched chain on light. 5. Touched faucet handle. (Washed hands.) 6. Touched bathroom doorknob. 7. Touched knob of outside door. 8. Received paper from newsboy. 9. Grasped handle of trolley car. 10. Received transfer from conductor. (Gloves on
hands from this time till entering restau
rant.) 11. Grasped back of chair in restaurant. 12. Touched tumbler with hand.
13. Touched tumbler with lips. 14. Touched teaspoon with hand. 15. Touched teaspoon with lips. 16. Touched plate with hand. 17. Touched second teaspoon with hand. 18. Touched second teaspoon with lips. 19. Touched coffee cup with hand. 20. Touched coffee cup with lips. 21. Touched cream pitcher with hand. 22. Touched cereal dish with hand. 23. Touched toast with hand, 24. Placed toast in mouth. 25. Touched shredded wheat with hand. 26. Placed shredded wheat in mouth. 27. Touched second piece of toast with hand. 28. Placed second piece of toast in mouth. 29. Used handkerchief to nose. 30. Handled napkin. 31. Wiped mouth with napkin. 32. Touched back of chair. 33. Received check. 34. Received change from cashier. 35. Opened door. 36. Closed door. (Put on gloves.) 37. Used handkerchief to nose. 38. Handled toilet room door at office. 39. Touched swinging doors on toilet. 40. Touched toilet seat. 41. Touched flush handle. 42. Touched swinging doors on toilet. (Washed
hands.) 43. Touched toilet room door knob. 44. Used handkerchief to nose. 45. Shook hands with visitor. 46. Received paper from visitor. 47. Used handkerchief to nose. 48. Shook hands with visitor. 49. Shook hands with second visitor. 50. Opened toilet room door. 51. Pressed toilet flush with hand. 52. Turned water faucet. (Washed hands.) 53. Opened lunchroom door. 54, 55, 56. Received three dishes from attendant. 57. Handled chair. 58. Handled water tumbler. 59. Carried glass to lips. 60. Put spoon in mouth. 61. Put fork in mouth. 62. Opened post office door. 63. Licked postage stamp handed out by clerk. 64. Opened post office door. 65. Opened office door. 66. Placed hand on rail. 67. Opened office door.
68. Grasped handle on trolley car.
material either on the hands, mouth or nose. 69. Opened door of bank.
We may sum up these incidents as follows: 70. Grasped pen used by public. 71. Received bills from cashier.
Touching hands to articles that were or might 72. Opened bank door.
have been touched by others immediately be73. Opened toilet room door.
87 74. Closed swinging doors.
5 75. Touched flush handle.
Carrying to mouth articles possibly infected 76. Opened swinging doors.
by others ...
17 77. Touched faucet. (Washed hands.)
Hand brought in contact with mouth directly. 2 78. Opened toilet room door.
Hand brought in contact with nose indirectly 79. Pressed handle on drinking fountain with
through handkerchief .....
Chances of acquiring infection through laugh80. Handled toilet room door.
ing of others
1 81. Pressed toilet flush.
Chances of acquiring infection through sneez82. Turned faucet handle. (Washed hands.)
ing of others
0 83. Opened toilet room door.
Chances of acquiring infection through cough84. Received newspaper.
ing of others
0 85. Received change from newsboy.
Chances of acquiring infection through kissing. 0 86. Grasped car handle.
There were 92 opportunities for infecting 87. Received change from conductor. (Put on
the hands directly with other hands or with gloves.) 88. Opened restaurant door.
articles just handled by others. Mere infec89. Handled chair.
tion of the hands is of course immaterial. It 90, 91, 92, 93. Handled knife, fork, spoon,
tumb- is the carrying of the infected hand to the ler.
mouth or nose, which constitutes the danger. 94, 95, 96. Touched spoon, fork and tumbler to In the present instance the hand was brought mouth.
in contact with the mouth or nose, either 97. Handled water pitcher.
directly or through food, or through handling 98. Touched napkin.
a handkerchief 14 times, 7 times in the case 99. Wiped mouth with napkin.
of the mouth and 7 in the case of the nose. 100. Grasped chair. 101. Used handkerchief to nose.
This represents the experience of one to whom 102. Handled cake.
keeping hands out of the mouth is second 103. Put cake in mouth.
nature. But what of the person who is un104. Grasped chair.
conscious of the hand to mouth habit? There 105. Opened door.
is no question but that the hand travels to 106. Used handkerchief to nose.
the mouth more frequently with the average 107. Used toothpick, bringing hand to mouth.
individual. 108. Opened door to'house.
There were seven opportunities of infecting 109. Received paper from friend.
the nose with the hand through the medium 110. Friend · laughed boisterously within spray
of the handkerchief. The influence of weather range.
and climate on infection is suggested here by 111. Used handkerchief to nose.
the fact that the colder or more changeable 112. Closed bathroom door. 113. Pressed toilet flush.
the weather the more frequently does the nose 114. Turned faucet handle. (Washed hands.) require attention and the opportunities for in115. Opened bathroom door.
fecting the nose from the hand increase in 116, 117. Shook hands with two people.
proportion. 118. Touched light chain.
In making up this record of articles touched 119. Passed candy to mouth with hands.
by the hands, it should be emphasized that The above list shows 119 possibilities dur- only those instances have been recorded which ing the course of a day for acquiring infected offered the possibility of infection through
recent handling of the article by others. Contact with papers, pencils, etc., handled remotely by others have not been included.
Another point that stands forth is that our hands are dangerous to others only in proportion to the frequency with which we infect them with our mouth and nose. The present experience shows seven hand-to-nose contacts and but two direct hand-to-mouth contacts. The handkerchief thus looms up as a factor of importance. Through it we may infect our hands from our nose, which is dangerous to others, and also infect our nose with our hands which is dangerous to ourselves.
Several lessons of practical value suggest themselves from the above related experience. They are:
I. That we should use handkerchiefs one side of which is conspicuously colored or marked so that we may always apply the hands to one side reserving the other side for the nose. This will protect our own nose from our hands and help to prevent the infection of our hands.
II. That we should abandon the universal practise of shaking hands, substituting some other less intimate method of salutation.
III. That we should encourage means which will lessen the opportunity for public restaurant employees to handle eating utensils.
GEORGE T. PALMER, Captain, Sanitary Corps, U. S. A.
obtained in pure culture. It was inoculated on healthy leaves by using a sterile, platinum needle and smearing the organism on the leaf. Within three to four days inoculated spots showed the characteristic browning of the tissue. The organism was then reisolated and obtained in pure culture from the inoculated spots.
Both by spraying and by needle smears this organism was successfully inoculated on wheat, oats, rye, barley, corn and Sudan grass; it was reisolated and obtained in pure culture from each of the above-named hosts. Infections were also obtained on sorghum and millet but no reisolations have been obtained from these up to the time of writing. Judging from the appearance of infected plants in the greenhouse all the cereals mentioned, except corn and the various grasses of the Sorghum group, are quite seriously attacked. The effect on oats is not unlike the halo blight recently described by Miss Elliott and it is likely that the organisms under discussion is the same as Mann's3 Pseudomonas avenæ. However, the identity of the organism is still in doubt and the work is being continued.
H. H. ROSEN AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION,
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
A PRELIMINARY NOTE ON A BACTERIAL DIS
EASE OF FOXTAIL DURING the month of September and up until the middle of November, 1918, a striking disease on foxtail (Setaria glauca (L.) Beauv.) was noticeable around Fayetteville, Ark. The disease was rather widespread in this vicinity and it is quite probable that it is prevalent throughout the state of Arkansas at least. The disease manifests itself as dark brown spots and streaks, varying in size from small, oval or roundish spots, 1-2 mm. in diameter, to elongated streaks, 2–3 cm. in length. The attacked areas are to be found on leaves, flowering stalks and glumes. The pathogen, a white, rod-shaped bacterium was isolated and
THE AMERICAN METRIC ASSOCIATION
The following is a summary of the proceedings of the second annual meeting of the American Metric Association (156 Fifth Avenue, New York City), held in Baltimore on December 27 and in Washington on December 28.
Mr. David A. Molitor, consulting engineer, outlined his work for the C. E. Schmidt Co., of Detroit, tanners. He found that about 500 different commodities were being purchased for the use of this company and that they were received in many different units of weight and measure. It became clear that economy would be effected by entering the weight or measure of all material received in
1 Since this article was written the organism has also been reisolated from these hosts.
2 Elliott, C., “Bacterial Oat Blight,” Phytopath. 8: 489, 1918.
3 Manns, T. F., “The Blade Blight of Oats," Ohio Agri. Exp. Sta. Bul. 210, 1909.
metric units. This step was taken with great suc
The metric weights and measures were then used exclusively throughout the factory. The output of the factory was increased approximately 50 per cent. with the same working staff. The weighing in one department had previously been made by an expert in the old weights and measures. After the change to the metric system, this work was done by a laborer with fewer mistakes than formerly. Mr. Molitor estimated that a saving of approximately 20 per cent. could be effected in the bookkeeping and calculations of factories which introduced the metric weights and measures throughout.
Dr. C. O. Mailloux, consulting engineer, chairman of the United States Committee of the International Electro-Technical Commission, told of his practical experiences in the use of the metric system in the United States and foreign countries, describing his last interview with Sir John Wolfe Barry, who designed the London Bridge and other engineering enterprises in England. He expressed to Dr. Mailloux his firm conviction of the desirability and necessity for adopting the metric weights and measures in England and discussed the practical steps contemplated for their general use. Dr. Mailloux pointed out the fact that the electrical units throughout the world were based on metric weights and measures and that this in itself was indicative of their ultimate adoption for all purposes in America and England.
Mr. Jesse M. Smith, past president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, stated that he had been in close touch with the metric movement for fifty years. He had studied in Berlin during the winter following the Franco-Prussian War. The metric system was then used in the text-books and also for practical work throughout Germany. He had frequently used the metric system in America and other countries since then and believed it to be only a question of time when the metric system would be adopted in all parts of the world.
Professor Eugene C. Bingham, of Lafayette Col. lege, was appointed chairman of the Committee on Sections of the American Metric Association. The following resolution on this subject was adopted:
“Resolved, that the American Metric Association hereby requests the formation of local sections throughout the country.'
United States Senator John F. Shafroth, read bill S5037, which he has introduced in congress and asked for a discussion on the subject. This bill is a step toward the general use of metric
weights and measures, making exceptions where such seem to be advisable for special work. The bill was endorsed by the American Metric Association.
Secretary of Commerce, Honorable William C. Redfield was the principal speaker at the “ Metric Dinner,” held on the evening of the twentyseventh. After outlining his practical experience as a manufacturer for thirty years and his travels in other countries in the interests of his export trade, he voiced the conviction that the metric weights and measures should and would be adopted for general use in the United States. The Secretary of Commerce said in part: “I believe that the metric system offers a return to simplicity, offers an effectiveness of thought, offers more to little children in our schools if you please, which we are not justified in withholding from them.”
The following officers were elected for the year 1919: President-George F. Kunz, New York; First Vice-President—Wm. Jay Schieflin, New York; Second Vice-President-Jesse M. Smith, New York; Third Vice-President—David A. Molitor, Detroit; Treasurer-Arthur P. Williams, New York; Secretary-Howard Richards, Jr., New York. The following
'Resolved, that the American Metric Association hereby expresses its desire to cooperate more fully with those American industries and trades using and contemplating the use of metric weights and measures.
“Resolved, that the American Metric Association send greetings to the universities, colleges and other educational institutions and respectfully invite their cooperation in bringing in the general use of meters, liters and grams for the welfare of America."
A Weekly Journal devoted to the Advancement of Science, publishing the official notices and proceedings of the American Association for
the Advancement of Science
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School of Medicine
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The trettion loo for undergraduato medical students is 4800 MEDICAL COLLEGE
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COLLEGE OF MEDICINE Medical School The Medical School is an Integral part of the University and
(Established in 1834) is in close Affiliation with the Johns Hopkins Hospital
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After January 1 1918, all students entering the inciuding laboratory work, in physics, chemistry, and biology, Freshman Class will be required to present credits and with evidence of a reading knowledge of French and German.
for two years of college work, which must include Each class is limited to 90 students, men and women being Biology, Chemistry and Physics, with their laboraadmitted on the same terms. Except in unusual circumstances, tories, and one year in German or French. applications for admission will not be considered after July 1st. Il vacancies occur, students from other institutions desiring
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