1 Amerkan UljCebliaItIj Sz*ociation.
ANNUAL VOLUME, NO. XXII.
0f VWCTOBJER, 189 7.
QUARTERLY SERIES. VOL. 3, PART 4.
The American Public Health Association is not responsible for the sentiments expressed in any paper or address published in this Journal.
PULQUE AS A PROPHYLAXIS OF SCURVY IN PRISONS.'
By DR. FRANCISCO MARTINEZ BACA, PUEBLA,MEXICO.
It has constantly been the tendency of mankind to avoid the evil rather than afterwards apply the remedy. Should our woeful experiences always lead us to the perfect knowledge of the causes by which they are produced, our inductions, elevated through the positive method, to the rank of general principles, would now have become indefectible laws, and there would not be a single page in thegreat book of Nature from which human mind after careful reading had not derived profit to secure actual happiness so much longed for since the most distant ages. Death would not surprise man in the midst of the sweet home life, neither would it snatch from a loving mother's lap the tender child, a fruit of chaste love and a victim of the Leffler bacillus not yet controlled by prophylactic means.But natural sciences with the means they dispose of, like the Voltairean micromegas which through a thousand senses was able to discover three hundred properties in matter, still suspecting that there was something to be known and feeling an inexpressible anxiety which admonished him of the existence of beings superior to himself; availing themselves of the microscope, an inexhaustible source ofdiscoveries, which in the hands of the illustrious. Pasteur and so many wise men whose intellect has spread vivid light, and torn off many a secret from Nature, those sciences, I say, have drawn away the veil that covered the microscopical world, allowing us to see many hitherto invisible beings, and teaching us by means of experimental physiopathology, the pathogeny of many a
1Read before theAmerican Public Health Association, Buffalo Meeting.
PUZQUE AS A PROPHYLAXIS OF SCURVY ZN PRISONS.
morbid state, have pushed forth the universal principle of inductive logic: nullus est e7.ctus sine causa. Keeping away diseases rather than struggling against them, subtracting man from the evil before it comes on him, making the generations outlive, and, in short, preserving health is notonly to comply with the precepts of hygiene, but to work for the future of present people and coming societies, accepting the positive form of the old philosophical principle mens sana in corpore sano. As social life grows complex, industry diversified, and population becomes denser, there is an outbreak of a new group of pathogenical causes that call for preventive medicine and require from thegovernment multiplied care in favor of the social aggregates. If all the ramifications of public health were conveniently attended to; if such edifices as prisons, hospitals, quarters, schools, etc., were built after the clever direction of the hygienist, the burial yards would receive much fewer numbers, and the long life of citizens would do great honor as well to the governments as to theprophylactic.means which science keeps at hand to prevent the annual invasion of epidemical diseases. The Indian races mostly fill our prisons and it is well known how bad are the hygienical conditions in which they live, not only the private ones, but those referring to the medium in which they are born, they live and die. These circumstances render them less apt to counteract the action of morbidelements and to withstand the misfortunes in that probably last and necessary dwelling of theirs. The predisposing and determinating causes of scurvy are known to all my fellow-professors who now do me the honor to listen to me. You also know the different causes assigned to the efficient cause of the complaint, but howsoever well known, the etiology thereof has remained in darkness when the...