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Article
July 4, 1896

THE FALLACY OF ANTITOXIN TREATMENT AS A CURE FOR DIPHTHERIA.

Author Affiliations

Vice-President American Academy of Medicine; Chairman Section on State Medicine American Medical Association. Chicago.

JAMA. 1896;XXVII(1):17-19. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430790017001e

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Abstract

Early in my medical career, and at the time that Pasteur declared he had discovered a certain remedy for hydrophobia, it seemed a pity to me that the profound effort could not have been directed to the cure of diphtheria. Hydrophobia is such a rare disease, occurring not oftener than one to the million per annum, whereas diphtheria is universally prevalent, is the reason why regret was felt at the time of his publication. What it was hoped he might have done, is alleged to have been done by other investigators. Pasteur claimed in 1884, that a product made from the culture of the brain of an animal which had been inoculated with the disease of hydrophobia, was able, when injected beneath the skin of the human being, to cure rabies. This prophetic utterance emanated from a man who seemed to me, during this period of medical adolescence, to be

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