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March 31, 1888


JAMA. 1888;X(13):397. doi:10.1001/jama.1888.02400390017005

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Dear Sir:  —In your editorial of March 17, 1888, "Public Wealth vs. Public Health," page 334, you refer to diphtheria as "a preventable disease." Will you not kindly publish the formulæ for preventing diphtheria in your next issue, and obligeA Member.The writer of the editorial referred to in the above paragraph from our correspondent, used the word "preventable," as applied to diphtheria, in the same sense as it is used by nearly all writers on vital statistics and contagious and infectious diseases, i. e., by assuming the practicability of preventing the development and diffusion of the specific infection from which the disease is supposed to originate. This is sufficiently obvious from the tenor of the article itself. Any disease is preventable in direct proportion to the correctness of our knowledge concerning its essential causes and of our ability to either prevent the development of those causes or to

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