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Article
November 23, 1901

UNJUSTIFIABLE DISTRUST IN DIPHTHERIA ANTITOXIN.

JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(21):1396-1397. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470470038011
Abstract

An extract from the "Weekly Bulletin" of the Chicago Health Department in the Medical News section of this issue shows that the worst forebodings of the Journal1 as to the serious and far-reaching results of the recent deplorable occurrence in St. Louis are being fully realized. An increase of one-third in the case mortality of diphtheria since the first of the month is attributed to a growing distrust of antitoxin. The medical inspectors and antitoxin administrators of the department report that parents refuse to allow the use of antitoxin unless the physician will pledge himself that the serum is perfectly pure and free from any danger of causing tetanus. Even then in many cases its use is positively forbidden. Fortunately, the department men are able to give such pledge unhesitatingly. All antitoxin used or distributed by the department is tested—not primarily for its freedom from any pathogenic properties, but

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