Modern Concepts of Communicable Disease

by Morris Greenberg, M.D., M.S.P.H., Director, Bureau of Preventable Diseases, New York City Department of Health; Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University, and Anna V. Matz, R. N., M.A., Public Health Nursing Consultant in Communicable Diseases, New York City Department of Health. Foreword by Harry S. Mustard, M.D. 563 pp. with illustrations. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1953. Price $6.20

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The authors have attempted to illustrate the tendency toward integration and synthesis of modern preventive medicine, curative medicine, social medicine, and public health in the narrow but appropriate field of communicable disease.

The approach is through a rapid historical summary of concepts: the rise and development of bacteriology and immunology, the accompanying science of sanitary engineering, the discovery of antibiotics and the results of this current emphasis on the last of the epidemiologic triad (host, environment, agent) to receive frontal attack. Changes in control measures to keep pace with newer knowledge are succinctly outlined. For example, with reference to the almost obsolete practice of placarding, the authors say “We have not observed the placard to do more than scare away delivery boys. The discarding of placards by the New York City Department of Health has not arrested the downward trend of communicable disease in the city.”

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