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PROGRESS IN PEDIATRICS |

THE HISTORY OF DIPHTHERIA IN NEW YORK CITY

WILLIAM H. PARK, M.D.
Am J Dis Child. 1931;42(6):1439-1445. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1931.01940190162014.
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PREVALENCE OF THE DISEASE  Diphtheria has been endemic in New York City for at least 150 years. Until the clear description of the disease by Bretteneau in 1828, which made it possible to combine under the name diphtheria all of the diseases that had previously been given other names, it was impossible to obtain from the statistics on morbidity an exact idea of the prevalence of the disease. Before 1860, the death rate was apparently about 100 per hundred thousand. In 1871, the incidence of the disease began to increase greatly, so that by 1875 the death rate had reached 280. For a time the number of deaths declined, until the rate dropped to 130; in 1881, the rate was again up to 260; in 1887, 200, and in 1894, 155. The duration of each decline and rise covered from six to eight years. A further increase in 1895 was

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