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Mengele on SI? Arthur Anderson Art artnscience-(at) Dan,

The Health Department was located near the StatNisland Historical Association building in St. George.

When I was about 4 years old and on vacation in the Poconos I sat and watched a farmer milk his cow. He asked me if I wanted any "fresh" milk....I said sure. He said close your eyes and open your mouth....I did, and he squirted hot milk right out of the cow's utter into my mouth. It was good and I didn't think anything of it. However, a few weeks later I got a sore throat that was a little like tonsillitis but I didn't have a lot of pain and fever. The tonsillitis lasted six months, though.

The next summer while I was back in the Poconos, I asked the farmer where his cow was and he said she died during the winter.

From the time I entered grammar school until midway through medical school, I have been positive for TB skin tests. In the NY School system that usually meant you had to go to that building in St. George where the guy labeled you "Nasal" and get a chest X-Ray. In my case it was always negative but each time they gave me a TB skin test they would send me for a chest X-Ray.

Then, during the summer between sophomore and junior year in medical school, I was working as a summer "Externe" at Staten Island Hospital. One of the luncheon speakers was Dr. Eduard Robitzek, the TB doctor from Sea View Hospital who did the first clinical trial that proved Isoniazid was an effective cure of Tuberculosis. I told him the story and after lunch we went down to X-Ray. He had the technician take a shot of my neck...and sure enough there was a calcified lymph node in my neck that proved I had gotten TB from the farmer's sick cow when I was 4.

The docs at the health department didn't find anything to label me with, but that's OK they also weren't smart enough to figure out why my X-Rays were always negative. Public Health docs are a different breed. They don't actually treat anything. Their main goal is to label, count cases and report on population trends. When they get promoted they also get to set policy.

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