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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/168

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seems to have been overlooked as the most probable means of transmission in this case.

"Germs on Money, Harmless—Dr. Doty rejects a popular theory as to source of infection" says the New York Times of February 23, 1908. Dr. A. H. Doty is the health officer of the port, New York. I inquired of him whether he had been correctly quoted in that article and he replied that it practically expressed his views; in fact, he gave me a detailed account of his views which were given in his original article appearing in the New York Tribune on November 11, 1907, under the headlines, "No Disease on Money—Foolish to Consider It as a Medium of Transmission." Dr. Doty writes: "This heading may be a little misleading as I do not say that it is impossible for money to act as a medium of infection, but that if it does occur, it is only in rare instances, and this question must be settled principally by practical experience."

The United States treasurer, who has given this subject long and careful consideration, is emphatic in his statement that there is not the slightest evidence to show that the employees in his department contract infectious diseases any oftener than others who are not in this line of work. This also applies to bank tellers and clerks. Peculiarly enough, those who claim that they have made a careful study of this question do not seem to understand that persons whose vocation involves the constant handling of money are susceptible to the same outside influences or exposure that others are, and are therefore equally liable to contract infectious diseases in the ordinary way, and that the handling of money does not render them immune to disease.

Dr. Park's statement that he found "paper money to be similar to other paper and rags, and capable of carrying living tubercle and diphtheria bacilli for some days or longer," does not mean that money is a frequent medium for the transmission of infectious diseases.

Dr. Doty has for years made a study of infectious diseases, and especially the medium of their transmission. He has collected reliable statistics from paper manufacturers in this country, and has made a personal investigation of the rag depots of Alexandria, Egypt; yet no evidence has ever been found to show that these rag pickers are more subject to infectious diseases than those not connected with the work. "It is fortunate," he says, "that money constitutes such an unimportant factor in the transmission of disease, as nothing could be more farcical, from a sanitary point of view, than an attempt to disinfect it, although this has been seriously proposed. It is important that those who have given this subject careful investigation should aid in the education of the public, in order that they may have a proper understanding of the matter and not be alarmed by sensational literature on the subject."

I do not claim that my study of twenty-four bills proves con-