Medicine: Soap v. Germs

A Frenchman, Maurice Renaud, last November published a report that soapy water was an efficient cleanser of pussy abscesses and ulcerated surfaces. The diluted soap not only washed germs away mechanically. It killed germs and seemed to neutralize their toxins.

The Renaud report inspired Dr. John Edward Walker to summarize what is known about soap's germ-killing powers. Textbooks on surgery and bacteriology say very little on the subject. Dr. Walker, 39, onetime Army major, onetime bacteriology instructor at Johns Hopkins and the Army Medical School, onetime investigator of infectious diseases for E. R....

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