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Article
August 10, 1895

IS DIPHTHERIA DOOMED BY THE DISCOVERY OF ANTITOXIN?

Author Affiliations

EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF LARYNGOLOGY AND RHINOLOGY, COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS OF CHICAGO. DENVER, COLO.

JAMA. 1895;XXV(6):241-242. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430320027002f

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Abstract

Probably, with the exception of Koch's tuberculin, nothing has so interested and excited the civilized world as antitoxin, the new remedy for diphtheria. Like all other new advances and discoveries in medicine, it has its advocates who claim it as a specific when properly and timely used, also its enemies who decry its use and proclaim it a huge fraud; others again who admit the value of antitoxin but claim that its dangers more than offset its advantages; still again there are others, and among them Virchow, who acknowledge the dangers of the new remedy and yet claim that the lessened mortality under its use more than compensates for the dangers and risks of its employment. From all this conflicting testimony it is difficult to estimate its true value, but at present date the evidence is decidedly in its favor.

The opponents of antitoxin point to the anatomic lesions found

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