Statistics on diphtheria verify the clinical experience as regards the high morbidity and mortality from the disease in young children. From 80 to 85 per cent, of all cases of diphtheria and all deaths from the disease occur in children under the age of 5 years. This group, therefore, represents the most important part of the population that has to be protected against diphtheria, and the most suitable for immunization.
In proportion to its importance are the difficulties that have to be met and overcome. These young children are scattered in the individual homes, and cannot be reached as readily as schoolchildren in large groups. The parents have to be seen and convinced before they will consent to the immunization of their children. All this requires considerable effort and time on part of the health officer, the public health nurse, and others.
The diphtheria prevention work in the schools is
ZINGHER A. DIPHTHERIA PREVENTION AMONG CHILDREN OF PRESCHOOL AGEIN THE BOROUGHS OF MANHATTAN AND THE BRONX IN NEW YORK. JAMA. 1923;80(7):456–460. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640340012005
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