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January 28, 1911

Bacteriologic vs. Clinical Control of Diphtheria Quarantine

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1911;LVI(4):288. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560040056031

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To the Editor:  —It must be borne in mind that the statement quoted by Dr. Turpin referred solely to the regulation of quarantine in diphtheria. It was not intended to apply to the treatment of the disease. When the clinical symptoms are reasonably clear, the physician who administers antitoxin without waiting for a bacteriologic examination is to be commended. The harmlessness of antitoxin and the more favorable results obtained from early injections render its use on clinical grounds alone perfectly justifiable. But in the case of quarantine I insist that it is unjust to a patient, especially to an older child or adult, to confine him for an arbitrary period of time on clinical grounds alone when a bacteriologic examination is obtainable. It is just as unfair to the community to release such a patient merely because all symptoms of diphtheria have disappeared.It is true that a small percentage

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