Prompted by an article in the New York Times, June 12, 1926, in the thrilling headlines, The Common Cold in for a Battle.
Joint attack of many sciences, to banish the most harmful of diseases, suggested by President of the chemical Foundation, to bring together physicians, pharmacologists, chemists, bacteriologists and pathologists, in coordinated study of the Common Cold, and formulation of its remedy. Seven thousand hospitals, 400 universities, will participate, becoming Pasteur Institutes to study the cold, using their laboratories to supplement each other.
It is thought the resources of the whole domain of fundamental sciences are needed in the achievement, as they all overlap, and the cure of disease is no longer the work of physicians alone, and the common cold demands the cooperation of all related sciences, besides publicists, employers and parents.
They assert that having conquered smallpox, scarlet fever, Tb., yellow fever, hookworm, diphtheria, typhoid and diabetes, the common cold overshadows them all in economic waste and weakening of the human race. Expectant mothers transmit its influence to the child and barren women find other ways. The major expense of hospitals is incurred in combating the common cold.
Eighty per cent of a physicians practice deals with ailments derived from the common cold. The greater part of the countrys 500,000,000 dollars annual drug bill is for cold remedies. Thirty years ago there were 2700 preparations on the druggists lists, now 45,000 and most of them advocated for colds, indicates that many of them are not remedies at all; nor any of them, in the light of the above plea?.
According to figures, the ravages of the common cold are unimaginable, even to the most experienced sufferers. Every man, woman and child loses several days productiveness each year. It imperils and postpones surgery; 90 percent of child mortality is due to common cold; (if nothing is said about the treatment).
Great industries are impeded and put to enormous expense for medical departments, health workers and safety directors to combat colds and their effects.
Much has been done to ascertain the nature of the disease; bacteriologists have devoted years to laboratory investigation; the medical profession made exhaustive study of respiratory diseases during the war; (very exhaustive, about 50 percent mortality); the U.S. public Health Service, local health departments, insurance companies, contributed statistical aspects of the problem, and the cause is still a mystery.
Despite all efforts to determine the cause of the common cold, it remains unknown. At various times, various bacteria have been considered the cause, but not distinctive organism has been convicted. Others think colds are due to chilling, wet feet, wet clothing, exposures, drafts, etc., but Eskimos are cited as not subject to cough or colds by exposure but have been ill after visiting a ship. They did have the “flu in 1918, however, in the entire absence of any ship, or other communication.
“Colds are most common in the temperate zone. Eighty-five per cent of people have more than one cold a year.” Dr. Dochez, doing special research work on this subject says the cold itself is of slight importance; its harm being in disposing the patient to measles, typhoid, scarlatina, and pneumonia. He says chemistry can help by inventing a local antiseptic, to shorten the life of the bacteria; although as said above, the cold cannot be traced to a germ, though bacteria may be traced to colds? The American Medical Research Society say that they have demonstrated that the cause of colds can operate through two feet of solid masonry, hence bacteria must be secondary, if considered at all. The U.S. Government confirmed that finding.
Why this bewilderment about the common cold, sending a despairing S.O.S. to the limits of materialism, which cannot shed a ray of light on the source of Nature of life or health, in whose inhibitions must inhere the primaries of health and disease? And what is meant by COMMON cold, varying in its manifestation with every season, locality, occupation and individual, especially the latter? Is it not apparent that such a variable disorder can have no invariable cause or remedy?
Can they tell us why, in one person, a cold is distinctively right- sided, and in another left-sided, and that proven remedies have a similar pathogenesis; and why no curative remedy can straddle such a distinction? Can they tell why, among these common colds, one patient will have a scalding coryza and bland lachrymation, and hover over the heat with extra wraps, and cringe form cold air, and another will have bland coryza and smarting eyes, and is relieved in cold air, and that it is impossible to comply with both needs with the same remedy?.