THE CONTROL OF DIPHTHERIA
The epidemiologic study of diphtheria by Russell1 is of great significance with respect to the control of the disease. In the preface it is pointed out that, while progress has been made in reducing the deaths from diphtheria in England and Wales, the advance "is disappointing in view of the fact that, of the infectious diseases of childhood, diphtheria is the one of which exact biological knowledge is most complete and was earliest obtained." Russell's figures show a decline of nearly 60 per cent in the death rate from diphtheria in England and Wales during the past forty years, but this decline is "unsatisfactory" compared with the reduction of 80 per cent of the mortality of diphtheria in white children aged 1 to 15 years in the United States between 1920 and 1938. In this decline in the United States active immunization of children against
Current Comment. JAMA. 1943;122(16):1127–1128. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840330073012
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