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May 8, 1897


JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(19):900-901. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440190038008

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That diphtheria, apart from the mechanical interference with respiration to which it gives rise when the larynx is involved, exerts its baneful influence through the activity of poisons generated as a result of the di ease-process may be accepted as a fact. Some of the toxic complications and sequelæ are attributable to the presence of the diphtheria-bacilli, others to secondary infection. In either event these possibilities must be constantly borne in mind and be as carefully guarded against as possible. Early administration of the antitoxin is capable of averting in a large degree many of the toxic manifestations, as well as the unpleasant and dangerous results of interference with the respiration through obstruction of the larynx. There is reason to believe further that judicious employ of antistreptococcic serum will serve to mitigate the severity of many attacks of diphtheria, especially when secondary infection exists.

The poisons circulating in the blood

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