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Article
November 4, 1893

DIPHTHERIA: ITS SPECIFIC DIAGNOSIS.A Paper read before the Mississippi Valley Medical Association, at Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 4, 1893.

JAMA. 1893;XXI(19):698-699. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420710026002k

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Abstract

A disease which our National census tells us has a rating as third in the mortality tables of our country is always worthy of profound consideration.

Diphtheria is a disease of peculiar interest, because of its singularity in being more treacherous and insidious in its manifestations than any other disease that is met with by the practitioner of medicine, simulating somewhat the Irishman's flea, or the thimble rigger's paraphernalia, in which you seemingly see it, and then you don't see it. It is no unusual thing for the most acute diagnosticians to err by mistaking a case of diphtheria for a simple follicular tonsillitis, or a follicular tonsillitis for diphtheria, while papers and discussions without number on the diagnostic differentiation between diphtheria and non-infectious membranous croup have occupied very many hours of precious time at our medical society meetings. This continuous uncertainty of diagnosis has caused some excellent practitioners to

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