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November 4, 1916


JAMA. 1916;LXVII(19):1372. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02590190034014

The recognition of human "carriers" of disease, who do not themselves manifest symptoms of the infection which they harbor, has brought new problems to be solved. To rid society directly of the carrier infringes perhaps on the personal liberty and happiness of an innocent individual. For the present, therefore, he must be subjected to such treatment as seems likely to subdue the organisms which he unwittingly distributes. Various proposals have been made for ridding diphtheria carriers of the offensive germs. The administration of diphtheria antitoxin has not proved successful. Local measures consisting of direct treatment of the areas of suspected invasion, notably in the nasopharyngeal passages, with sprays, gargles, inhalants and comparable devices, are at best doubtful in their effects. Antagonistic introduction of bacteria in the form of cultures of staphylococci, lactic acid bacilli and others has had its vogue. Insufflation with kaolin has also been championed1 for the