Smallpox, an ancient scourge, is still a menace to mankind, largely because of fanatic refusal by certain sects to use vaccination and because of carelessness in the process of vaccination. According to Public Health Reports, in forty-four states there were 40,706 cases of smallpox in 1929, which had increased to 48,033 in 1930. While fortunately the disease has been mild, a number of outbreaks have occurred recently in large centers, where the danger of an epidemic presented a serious problem.
The prevention of contagion obviously depends on early isolation. Since physicians are apt to see few cases now, the clinical diagnosis may be missed or delayed. Recently a specific laboratory aid for the early diagnosis of smallpox was described by Parker and Muckenfuss1 of Washington University School of Medicine. Briefly, they have adapted the technic of complement fixation with a specific serum for this purpose. They have found that
THE EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF SMALLPOX BY COMPLEMENT FIXATION. JAMA. 1933;100(19):1545–1546. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740190071016
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