Medicine: How to Get Rid of Syphilis

Many a doctor contends that the only way to stamp out syphilis is to find and treat every syphilitic. Last week the city of Birmingham, Ala., having tried that simple-sounding formula, was ready to report: it works.

In the first compulsory civilian mass attack on syphilis in history, the city had blood-tested, tagged and treated virtually every infected citizen. A unique state law requires every Alabamian between 14 and 50 to take a Wassermann-like test. After some trial runs in a few small rural counties, health officers two months ago started the big test in Jefferson County.

Testing centers were set up in...

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