Allan M. Brandt, PhD
Since Surgeon General Thomas Parran (1) began his campaign in the 1930s to wipe out syphilis-"the shadow on the land"-partner notification has been considered an important element of public health policy to control epidemic disease. Case finding through notification of partners was based on the common-sense notion that early intervention among persons who were often unaware that they might be infected could lead to the control of diseases like syphilis. Parran called for a "Wassermann dragnet": vigorous screening, reporting, contact tracing, and treatment to rid the nation of the scourge of sexually transmitted disease. When first proposed and implemented in
Brandt AM. Sexually Transmitted Disease: Shadow on the Land, Revisited. Ann Intern Med. 1990;112:481–483. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-112-7-481
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1990;112(7):481-483.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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