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November 26, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXXI(22):1269-1271. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.92450220004002a

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The knowledge which careful investigation has given the medical world has placed within our hands the means of controlling diphtheria—the most fatal disease of childhood—as it has never been controlled before. Just in proportion as this knowledge is made available when needed, will be the success with which the disease may be held in check. In the past, diphtheria has been in the hands of the family physician, the health official taking little or no part in the treatment, except to warn the public by a placard and insist upon isolation. But our present knowledge of the disease demands a greater participation than heretofore by municipal as well as State officials.

Diphtheria is influenced by every factor that affects the physiologic resistance of the human system. History shows that in every large city, in periods varying from seven to ten years, the disease becomes epidemic, probably due to racial and

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