from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The causative agent of a communicable disease; contagion.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. contagion; contagious matter
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Contagion; contagious matter.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Same as contagion.
- n. The morbific matter conveyed from the sick to the well in the spread of communicable diseases.
It is doubtful whether it can be conveyed from one person to another; at least nothing is known concerning the "contagium," or germ of conveyance of infection, -- according to the differential diagnosis of Dr.G. Kuhnemann, whose work on the subject is held to be authoritative.
Tui precatus munere nostrum reatum dilue, arcens mali contagium, vitæ repellens tædium.
The breath and emanations from the skin transmit the _contagium_ from the appearance of the first symptom to the disappearance of the eruption.
The _contagium_ is probably derived entirely from the scales and particles of skin escaping from smallpox patients, and in the year 1905-6 the true germ of the disease was discovered by Councilman, of Boston.
Long before any clear ideas as to the relations of Schizomycetes to fermentation and disease were possible, various thinkers at different times had suggested that resemblances existed between the phenomena of certain diseases and those of fermentation, and the idea that a virus or contagium might be something of the nature of a minute organism capable of spreading and reproducing itself had been entertained.
Chicken-pox, or Varicella, of which the contagium also remains a mystery, is another infectious eruptive form of disease, peculiar to children.
The old school hypothesis and the deductions therefrom would seem therefore, to be this: That a super-malignant contagium imported from some foreign source falls upon organisms predisposed to infection by mental stress or physical privation and over-strain or both combined; and the contagion thus generated through the medium of some unsuspected
It is one which occurs in epidemics, but to which children individually are largely susceptible; the actual contagium thereof, however, is likewise unknown to science.
These may be inflicted when horses lie down upon sharp stumps of vegetation or shoe-calk injuries may be the means of introducing contagium, and an infectious inflammation results.
-- The disease is due to the introduction of pus producing organisms into the subcoronary region of the foot under conditions which favor the retention of such contagium and extension of infection into contiguous tissues.