It is the prevalent opinion that phthisis is the scourge of our English lunatic asylums, and that these institutions are, literally speaking, hotbeds for the growth and distribution of the tubercle bacillus. In the Irish asylums, where the death-rate from phthisis alone amounts to nearly 30 per cent. of all causes of death, there seems to be just grounds for this belief. In the English asylums, however, the mortality is much lower, and is but little, if any, greater than that amongst the general population. This can be verified by examination of the Registrar-General's Report, from which it appears that phthisis accounts approximately for one in twelve of all deaths. These figures probably represent less than the true proportion of deaths from phthisis, since post-mortem examinations in the majority of cases are not made, and thus, doubtless, many cases of pulmonary tuberculosis are overlooked.
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