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On Diphtheria


On Diphtheria

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    Available in PDF Format | On Diphtheria.pdf | Unknown
    Edward Headlam Greenhow
Excerpt from book: CHAPTER IV. DIPHTHERIA A3 A SPORADIC AND ENDEMIC DISEASE. Although, like cholera and influenza, diphtheria has generally appeared as a wide-spread epidemic disease, yet it sometimes occurs in a sporadic form. At other times it has been so limited in extent, or has adhered so tenaciously to particular places, or even to single houses, as to resemble rather an endemic than an epidemic disease. In a sporadic form, or in the form of very small groups confined to a limited district, diphtheria has probably never been absent from this country: in this respect resembling cholera, the other novel epidemic of the present century. From various sources we learn that it occurred in France as a sporadic, if not an epidemic disease, during the earlier years of this century, anterior to M. Bretonneau's observations. Indeed, this author himself mentions that diphtheria was probably the cause of death in the case of the Empress Josephine. A oase of croup, related by M. Martin, of Lyons, in which no mention is indeed made of membranous exudation on the fauces, but in which the throat does not appear to have been examined, coincides in other respects so closely with diphtheria, that there can be little hesitation in considering it to have been a case of this disease. Blood and membranous fragments of the thickness of a line, and of various sizes, were expectorated in coughing. The tissue of these fragments was firm and solid, their colour a whitish grey, and their shape irregular. One of their surfaces was smooth, the other covered with mucous flakes striated with blood. There was also bleeding from the nose to the extent of a wine-glass full. The excoriations formed by blisters became covered with a thick, membrane-like layer, surrounded by inflammation. These membranous exudations on the ...  
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