Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 48.djvu/43

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
33
CONSUMPTION AS A CONTAGIOUS DISEASE.

which they may meet in every-day life. As the numbers of women in the universities increase, and the influence of educated wives and mothers is more widely felt, there will be an adaptation of university work to the needs of women as well as of men. The now scarcely perceptible tendency to emphasize the profession of wifehood and motherhood in its proper relations will be increasingly controlling in all education of women. Surrounded by the atmosphere of generous culture, molded by men and women of varied abilities, guided in the special preparation for her future, the young woman will soon be able to obtain as broad and as specialized a training as her profession shall require — a training which shall put her in touch with the best of the world for the benefit of her home and her children.


Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Flare Left - 12px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 5px.svg Rule Segment - Circle - 6px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 5px.svg Rule Segment - Flare Right - 12px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg


CONSUMPTION CONSIDERED AS A CONTAGIOUS DISEASE.

By A. L. BENEDICT, M. D.

A FEW years ago the newspapers were discussing rumors of the advent of leprosy in this country. Many were apprehensive of an epidemic of this disease, whose very name suggests all that is unclean, horrible, and loathsome. Although official reports made it certain that the lepers who had reached our shores were few, and that comparatively simple precautions could prevent the spread of the disease, public sentiment demanded the most rigorous quarantine and the sending back of those lepers who had already landed.

But there is in our midst another leprosy whose victims we meet, not outside the city wall warning us of their presence with the cry "Unclean! unclean!" but who walk the public streets, whom we meet in our places of business and amusement, in social gatherings, and, too frequently, in our very homes. It is doubtless a surprise that consumption should be mentioned in terms applicable to leprosy, but investigation shows that a close analogy may be drawn between the two diseases. Consumption or phthisis, as either word implies, is a consuming or wasting disease, characterized by a progressive failure of strength and an almost certain tendency toward death. Although the exact lesions differ in different cases, the essential nature of consumption is in inflammation, excited by a small germ which, magnified five hundred times, is just visible as a minute hyphen, usually tilted up at one end.

The same germ the — Bacillus tuberculosis — may lodge in bones, joints, the intestines, the membranes of the brain, and, in fact, in