By: George M. Sternberg (1838-1915)
Infection and Immunity with Special Reference to the Prevention of Infectious Diseases presents a subject that is as relevant today as it was in 1903. This book was written for readers without a medical background, and includes general information on infectious disease, as well as specific diseases prevalent at the time. To quote the author, who served as the U.S. Army Surgeon General from 1893-1902, "The general statement may be made that all infectious disease are preventable disease, and at the present time it is possible to indicate the necessary measures of prevention for nearly all of these diseases. That they continue to prevail, and to claim hundreds of thousands of victims annually, is largely due to the fact that the public, generally, has not yet been educated upon these subjects."
Many of the diseases described in this book have since been largely eradicated through education of the public regarding modes and prevention of transmission and with effective vaccines. Some persist, and new ones will continue to arise, despite tremendous advances in public health, science and medicine. While some of the specific advice is outdated, the general principles are still relevant.