Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/847

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829
THE CHOLERA-GERM.

help or sympathy from others; and others are many, while self is but one. If, on the other hand, we had found a system of perfect altruism commending itself as best, the acceptance of such a system would be no sacrificing of self to others, but would mean the acceptance of the principle that every one else was bound to assist in all his ways and wishes the accepter of this seemingly altruistic code—to sympathize with him in all his sorrows, and to care for him far more than for themselves. We have not been led to recognize any such abnegation of self on the one hand, or regard for self alone on the other hand, as desirable; but, in such degree as we have seen a regard for self to be desirable, we have in reality been led to the recognition of the rights of others (since each self is another to all others), while, in such degree as we have seen that each should consider not only the rights but the requirements of others, we have been led in reality to the recognition of the rights of each man to the assistance and sympathy of his fellows.

 

THE CHOLERA-GERM.
By E. K.

AT the present moment, when the Continent has again become the battle-field between cholera and the human race, all questions concerning the cause, diffusion, and prevention of the cholera-virus must take a prominent place in the deliberation on the best sanitary measures to be adopted in combating this insidious foe. Almost all practical preventive measures in this country and on the Continent as regards cholera and other infectious maladies are based on the assumption—supported by a good deal of evidence both theoretical and practical—that the virus is particulate, and, as indicated by its self-multiplication within the affected person, is a living organism. But the nature of this supposed organism of cholera has, until quite recently, been altogether mysterious. As is well known, Professor Koch and colleagues, sent out last year by the German Government to investigate the cholera in Egypt and India, have ascertained that in the rice-water stools voided by patients suffering from the disease there are present, besides micrococci and bacilli, common to the evacuations of other than cholera patients, peculiar curved bacteria, so-called "comma-shaped" bacilli, which Koch has not been able to discover in any cases of diarrhœa. These "comma-shaped" bacilli Koch has succeeded in isolating by artificial culture. Unfortunately, cholera has hitherto not been found transmissible to the lower animals, and therefore the function of these "comma-shaped" bacilli must at present remain unknown. All we can therefore say is that Koch has shown that in cholera evacuations there exist, besides micrococci and