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Full text of "Pathogenic Bacteria"

STERILIZATION AND DISINFECTION         123

with the above solution. In desquamative diseases it
seems best to have the entire body anointed with cos-
molin once daily, the unguent being well rubbed in, in
order to prevent the particles of epidermis being distrib-
uted through the atmosphere. Carbolated cosmolin may
be better than the plain, not because of the very slight
antiseptic value it possesses, but because it helps to allay
the itching which may be part of the desquamative
process.

After the patient is about the room again, common
sense will prevent the admission of strangers until all
the disinfective measures have been adopted, and after
this, touching, and especially kissing him, should be
omitted for some time.

The dead who die of infectious diseases should be
washed in a strong disinfectant solution, and should be
given a private funeral in which the body, if exposed,
should not be touched. In my judgment, the body
is best disposed of by cremation.

It seems, however, to be an error to suppose that a
dead body can remain for an indefinite period a source of
infection. Esmarch l has made a series of laboratory ex-
periments to determine what the fate of pathogenic bac-
teria in the dead body really is. From his results it seems
clear that in septicemia, cholera, anthrax, malignant
edema, tuberculosis, tetanus, and typhoid the pathogenic
bacteria all die sooner or later, generally more rapidly in
conditions of decomposition than in good preservation of
the tissues. Lack of oxygen may be a cause of their
disappearance.

1 Zeitsc/irift fur Hygiene, 1893.