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January 4, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(1):40. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480010044014

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A prominent serum expert of St. Louis, one of the members of the coroner's committee to investigate the recent cases of tetanus in that city, attributes in part to an immunizing effect of internal ingestion of antitoxin, the fact that a few took the disease who were exposed by inoculation with the infected serum. In at least fifteen cases, he says, the development of tetanus was prevented by the administration of the serum by the mouth. It is not exactly clear why this was done; but the expert in question says that it was in cases in which it was intended to immunize the members of the family surrounding the diphtheritic individual. It would seem from this statement that some of these must have contracted diphtheria and received injections of the contaminated serum, which did not cause tetanus in them because of its previous ingestion. This will be, to most

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