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June 13, 1885


JAMA. 1885;IV(24):671. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02390990027010

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Editor Journal American Medical Association: 

Dear Sir:  —The mortality among young children by diphtheria in this part of the country under all methods of practice has been great, and my observations have impressed me with the belief that this is largely due to the custom of confining such victims in close apartments, and compelling them to inhale the air already polluted by their exhalations. The prevalence of croupal symptoms in many of the fatal cases prejudices the people against the admission of any fresh air, frequently keeping the little patients in small improvised tents within a closed apartment, with elevated temperature, and saturated with vapor. It seems to meunder such circumstances the contagion must of necessity find its way into the air-passages so constantly, and so concentrated, that new inoculation of deep-seated tissues results. The fear that the child will take cold is so strong that I have with difficulty

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