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Diphtheria is an acute infectious disease, highly contagious and dependent upon a specific virus for its inception and propagation. Usually beginning by an involvement of the throat, characterized by exudations locally, and enlargement of the lymphatic glands, soon to be followed by a general systemic poisoning, attended with various paralyses as sequelae. At first seemingly a local disease, caused by an inoculation it soon becomes general and assumes a constitutional form of a most virulent character, constituting one of the most dreaded diseases of childhood, from the frequency of its prevalence, as well as the great fatality that attends it. While it does affect the general system finally, yet primarily it is locally characterized by affecting especially the mucous surfaces of the throat though not necessarily confined to these parts, as it may affect the mucous surfaces elsewhere and even the skin. Locally, its chief manifestation is the formation of
MURFREE JB. DIPHTHERIA.Read before the Section on Practice of Medicine at the Forty-fourth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association. JAMA. 1893;XXI(6):189–193. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420580011001d
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