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September 20, 1924


JAMA. 1924;83(12):922. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02660120038012

Readers of The Journal are familiar with the survey of mortality from typhoid fever in the United States which has been published each year; today American cities are proud of their records in controlling mortality from this disease. In this issue is published 1 a similar survey of the mortality from diphtheria in the large cities of the United States, grouped by geographic divisions. If our facts as to the cause of diphtheria, its prevention by the use of the Schick test and toxin-antitoxin, and its treatment by sufficient antitoxin given properly and early are correct—and they undoubtedly are—diphtheria is a preventable and controllable disease. It should have a low mortality wherever competent physicians are available.

There are, as will be seen from the figures published, marked differences both in the number of deaths from diphtheria in various communities and in the tendency of the mortality rate to increase or