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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/528

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

started the movement. Socialism, as the craving of the human mind, has appeared through all history, but it has hitherto been a desire mainly, not a force. Now it has become a power, and resulted in a movement throughout the civilized world; it will grow like the current in the dynamo, but, like it too, as the leveling downward of social inequalities goes on, it will raise up such a repulsion against a dead uniformity, and especially against the loss of those things which make life most worth living—art, music, architecture, education, and religion—that crass communism and anarchy will be extinguished by that which they are now evolving, and the doctrine of personal freedom will once more arise to work in a new but greatly modified field.

 

THE SERUM TREATMENT OF DIPHTHERIA.
By SAMUEL TREAT ARMSTRONG, M. D., Ph. D.,

VISITING PHYSICIAN TO THE HOSPITAL FOR CONTAGIOUS DISEASES, NEW YORK.

IT is almost seventy-four years since Bretonneau submitted to the Paris Academy of Medicine a report on croup and malignant sore throat, in which he maintained that a number of differently named diseases that were characterized by a membranous inflammation of the fauces and upper part of the air passages constituted but one specific disease, for which he proposed the name diphtheria. But the confusion he hoped to dissipate by the use of a generic term was maintained until recent years, notwithstanding the familiar employment of that term in medical nomenclature. There are few to whom its sound is unassociated with dread, for old and young, rich and poor, are alike susceptible to its infection.

In 1883 Prof. Edwin Klebs discovered, and in 1884 Prof. F. Loeffler succeeded in isolating and cultivating, the micro-organism now known as the Klebs-Loeffler bacillus, that is generally accepted as the productive agent of diphtheria. These bacilli, inoculated upon an abraded mucous membrane of animals susceptible to diphtheria, produce false membranes, systemic disturbances, and even death; they are found in the nasal and throat secretions and in the diphtheria membrane; microscopically they occur in the form of straight or curved rods that stain, with aniline dyes, most intensely at the ends, and thus present a dumb-bell appearance. Imbedded in organic matter and protected from the light, the bacilli may keep alive for many months outside of the animal organism. Uncleanliness, accumulations of dirt, and particularly dark, damp rooms favor the preservation of the bacilli and the propagation of the disease. This bacillus has never