Infectious Diseases, their Nature, Cause, and Mode of Spread 1

    Abstract

    WE read in Homer that “Phœbus Apollo, offended by mortals, sent a pernicious plague into the camp of the Greeks; the wrathful god with his arrows hit first mules, then dogs, and then also the Greeks themselves, and the funeral pyres burned without end.” If we expressed this in less poetical language, but more in conformity with our modern realistic notions, we would say, that the deity of health and cleanliness, having been offended by mortals, sent his poisonous but imperceptible darts or bacilli into them, and caused an epidemic of a fatal disease, communicable to man and animals.

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    Infectious Diseases, their Nature, Cause, and Mode of Spread 1. Nature 43, 416–419 (1891). https://doi.org/10.1038/043416d0

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