Diphtheria is still one of the most vexing and annoying problems the health officer must contend with, largely because of the diphtheria carrier. A certain percentage of carriers remain positive, harboring diphtheria bacilli for a lengthy period in spite of, or sometimes because of, all measures known to science employed singly or collectively to clear them up.
Different cities have various rulings arbitrarily decided on as to when patients suffering with an acute attack of diphtheria shall be called carriers. These vary from twelve days to several weeks. It is customary at this time to make the quarantine a little less difficult, allowing the adults to come and go from the house, provided they do not handle foods or contact children and the patient is properly isolated.
Aside from the economic loss and problem, the life of the conscientious health officer is made miserable and the physician in charge of
WITHERS S, RANSON JR, HUMPHRYS ED. SHORTENING THE QUARANTINE PERIOD FOR DIPHTHERIA CONVALESCENTS AND CARRIERS. JAMA. 1926;87(16):1266-1269. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680160014004