Page:New observations on inoculation - Angelo Gatti.djvu/37

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come less complicate: I shall therefore only examine that which is least faulty, and comes nearest to the original practice. By shewing the inconveniencies which attend it, I shall evince the still greater absurdity of more complicate methods, and the necessity of returning to the primitive operation, as being the most natural, the easiest, safest, and the only one than can be recommended.

Most inoculators actually proceed in the following manner. They make a slight incision or two, only skin-deep; and apply to the wounds either a thread impregnated with matter, or the powder of variolous scabs, secured with a plaister.

This method, simple as it appears, still differs widely from the former, both in itself and in its effects. 1. The first mischief is its being attended with an apparatus and solemnity both needless and hurtful. The business may be done in an instant upon a sleeping child, with little or no pain, if you prick him with a needle, without acquainting him that you are going to give him a distemper. By the other method he must undergo a painful incision, or more than one; a surgeon is employed; sometimes the physician is present; and an operation thus ushered in cannot fail to terrify the child, and set him a-crying. These impressions, though seemingly slight, may greatly affect the success of the whole, as will be shewn hereafter.

2. The infected thread contains an infinite number of those atoms, one of which is suffi-

cient
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