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Disease control is the one area of medicine in which treatment of the patient is not paramount. Certainly patients are treated, but the benefits to them are ancillary to preventing the spread of their disease. It is good that the penicillin shots that make syphilis patients noninfectious also cure them. Erythromycin therapy makes a pertussis patient noninfectious without altering the course of the disease. Whatever risks this may pose to the patient are justified by the need to protect others. Neither patient will be given the choice of refusing therapy and remaining in the community.

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