Though the occurrence of diphtheria in the first year of life was noted by Bretonneau,1 who first gave the name to the disease, all authorities are agreed as to its rarity at this period. During the last fifteen years the percentage of diphtheria patients under one year admitted to the Metropolitan Asylums Board's Hospitals2 has remained fairly constant, varying between 1.5 and 2.8 per cent. annually of the total cases admitted.
The figures given by some continental observers are slightly higher. Thus Flügge3 states that among 6,394 cases of diphtheria in Breslau in the period 1886 to 1890, 160 patients, or 2.5 per cent., were under 1 year.
According to Filatow4 the morbidity in southern Russia among children below 12 months was 4 per cent. of the total. In the Children's Hospital directed by Baginsky5 in Berlin infants under 1 year formed 5.5 per cent.