The diphtheria bacterium was first identified in the 1880s and in the 1890s diphtheria antitoxin was developed in Germany to treat victims of the disease. The antitoxin is prepared after horses are injected with increasingly large doses of diphtheria toxin.
The board of health will probably report to-night ( May 1, 1899) whether due precautions were taken to secure immunity from the diphtheria case reported at Beckwith. It is believed here that Beckwith township may have a board of health, but it is not in a strong healthy condition at present .
The similarity in a name and location of residence in Beckwith, where there has recently been a death from diphtheria is said to be a misguided rumour and that it should be contradicted. It is not at the home of Mr. William Duff of Lakeside Dairy that the disease appeared, neither are the families related, nor is there any intermingling between them. Mr. Lewis Duff, of the Lakeside Dairy, has fully recovered from a severe case of pneumonia
Since the sickness occurred in the unfortunate family of Mr. W. H. Duff, and for some time previous, there has been no association in any way between any members of the two households. It is in this general interest that it should be made known that the dispenser of milk or other commodities, who are around town dally in their usual avocations, are entirely free from the slightest prejudicial taint la sanitary matters.
There is much sympathy for the family of Mr. W. H. Duff, of Beckwith, in which two more of the children have been laid up with diphtheria. Doctors reported the next morning that they were recovering. The Beckwith board of health will probably report tomorrow whether due precautions are being taken to secure immunity from diphtheria infection for the rest of Beckwith. A doctor has stated that diphtheria is six times as fatal to school children between the ages of five, and ten years as any other disease.
An outbreak of diphtheria is threatened in the local school and within the past thirty days eight cases have devoid amongst the pupils. The trustees and school authorities are at a loss to account for the outbreak of the dreaded disease, and they are positive that the sanitary arrangements or the school building are not accountable for it. Precautions are being taken to prevent the further spread of the disease.