Medicine: Come In, Mumps!

Mumps, in childhood, is no more serious than it sounds, but for grownups it is not only painful but risky (worst complication: sex glands are affected, and sometimes sterility results).

When an eight-year-old in Manhattan's small (161 pupils) City and Country School came down with mumps, the school's medical advisers thought they might as well get it over with: they decided to let the exposed children keep coming to school so that as many pupils as possible might catch mumps. Accordingly, a letter was sent to the children's parents, explaining mumps's Jekyll-Hyde character and asking permission to let the disease do what...

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