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November 18, 1893

BACTERIOLOGIC EXAMINATIONS REGARDING MEMBRANOUS CROUP, BY THE NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF HEALTH.

JAMA. 1893;XXI(21):778. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420730028005

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Abstract

Dr. Herman M. Biggs, chief inspector of contagious diseases, under the New York City Department of Health, has made a provisional report concerning his bacteriologic work for four months. During that time, Dr. Biggs has had occasion to examine thirty-six reported cases of membranous croup. In all these cases, the membrane was limited to the larynx, or only slightly extended into the pharynx. There was found, in thirty of these cases, the diphtheritic bacillus of Loeffler, often quite abundantly. These cases were, therefore, really cases of laryngeal diphtheria. In the remaining six cases the Loeffler bacillus was not found. These were, therefore, cases of catarrhal pseudo-membranous inflammation of the larynx, and are analogues of the non-diphtheritic cases of pharyngitis marked by a similar pseudo-membranous exudation. In none of these six cases of croup, was the laryngeal disease preceded or followed by pharyngeal inflammation having the Loeffler bacillus in the exudate.

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