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June 28, 1941


Author Affiliations

St. Louis.

JAMA. 1941;116(26):2885. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820260059021

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To the Editor:—  In The Journal, Aug. 19, 1939, page 675, appeared a short article by Wayne W. Fox and others on their experience with a rapid clinical test for diphtheria. In this article it was stated that this simple and rapid test, when negative, might offer sufficient reason for withholding therapeutic antitoxin until the cultures could be reported. Recently Dr. Howard Bierman and Dr. Richard Maxwell gathered data at the St. Louis Isolation Hospital which indicated that negative results from this test could not be relied on. Their experience was more extensive than that of Fox and his associates. Since it is well known that the effectiveness of diphtheria antitoxin depends largely on the promptness with which it is given, it seems to me most unfortunate that the experience of Fox and his associates should remain unchallenged if there is any doubt at all about the reliability of the

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