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March 17, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(11):695. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460110055016

The antitoxin of diphtheria has now been on trial for nearly six years, and the early claims for its efficacy have not proved at all extravagant. According to the general consensus of opinion, based on cold logical statistics on an enormous scale, the mortality of the disease has been halved, reduced in fact from 40 to 20 per cent., and lower. Severe cases have been transformed into mild ones, operation has been avoided in many cases in which it would otherwise probably have been necessary, and cases in which operation has been performed have pursued a more favorable course than heretofore. The antitoxin has been shown to possess also distinct immunizing value, as has been demonstrated in the suppression of numerous epidemics. This prophylactic employment of the antitoxin has not yet received the general application that its utility makes it deserving of, and an earnest plea for the more extended