Excerpt from Transactions of the Epidemiological Society of London, Vol. 6: Session 1886-87
Dr. Koch has not succeeded in determining the specific relation of cholera to comma bacilli in tank-water, and has formed his conclusions too hastily, students of the subject should not be too hastily turned away from the further pursuit of researches in the same direction.
Similar remarks might in some degree apply to the labours of another eminent scientist, whose efforts to avert a rarer, but even more terrible and mysterious disease, have been watched with intense interest, and hailed everywhere with grateful recognition. The recent formidable extension of hydro phobia has afforded M. Pasteur the opportunity of trying his prophylactic system of inoculation with attenuated virus on a large scale, and under favourable circumstances. He has not had to contend with the irrational Obstruction and hindrances to scientific research which, in England, have been imposed on us through inconsiderate short-sighted legislation, but has received, as was his due, encouragement and support from all quarters. M. Pasteur's experiments seemed at first remarkably successful, but of late a considerable number of disappointments have shown that his system is still on its trial, and that it would be premature to form a conclusive judgment upon its merits. Yet any means preventive of a cruel and incurable disease, devised in a true philosophical spirit by one whose achievements in kindred investigations have been brilliantly successful, must be accepted with respect and gratitude, and hopefulness that, with further experience, his method of neutralising the poison of hydro phobia may be further developed and improved, and bear even better results. The practical outcome of the interest and anxiety felt on rabies and its consequences, has in London been chieﬂy beneficial by leading to the destruction of many useless, ownerless dogs, and to the more efficient control of the survivors. More attention Should be paid to the fact that many suspected dogs are not rabid, and that, in the interest of those bitten by them, it is unwise to destroy them immediately. Should the dog, probably only ill tempered or suffering from curable disease, survive a fort night's detention and watching, much anxiety would be spared to the persons bitten.
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