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August 28, 1897

Infectious Disinfectors.

JAMA. 1897;XXIX(9):451. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440350049014

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Groveland, Mass. Aug. 21, 1897.

To the Editor:  —The following case was recently reported in the Journal of Hygiene, France: "A child suffering from a light attack of scarlatina is confined to his room for forty days, the room is disinfected by the board of health. Two days later the child presents undoubted symptoms of diphtheria—a patch on one tonsil. The physician in attendance does not doubt that the disinfectors brought this disease, as the child had seen no one but them and the physician who had himself not been exposed."Such a theory seems hardly tenable. I have had cases in my own practice, of mixed infection, and others where diphtheria has followed scarlet fever, the patient ill at first with all the symptoms of scarlet fever and then with those of diphtheria. In none of these cases were cultures made demonstrating the presence of Klebs-Löffler bacilli. More recently

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