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May 4, 1940

PERTUSSIS PROPHYLAXIS: A CONTROLLED STUDY

JAMA. 1940;114(18):1734-1740. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810180010004
Abstract

A study of pertussis prophylaxis has been under observation at the University of California since March 1935. The plan of our method of study, the criteria for exposure to pertussis and the results of our earlier observation have been published in detail in a previous report.1 My purpose in this report is to bring the results of our observations up to date, to stress the necessity of rigid control for such a program and to point out some of the difficulties encountered in a study of this nature.

The efficacy of a prophylactic procedure is difficult to determine conclusively in most diseases. Pertussis is not one of the exceptions. The best and most critical test of any prophylactic measure is subjection of the immunized or treated individual to direct close contact with the disease in question. Studies of this nature not infrequently require years of observation on a rigidly

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