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Strangling AngelDiphtheria and Childhood Immunization in Ireland$
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Michael Dwyer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940469

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781786940469.001.0001

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Aetiology of Diphtheria in Pre-independence Ireland

Aetiology of Diphtheria in Pre-independence Ireland

(p.13) 1 Aetiology of Diphtheria in Pre-independence Ireland
Strangling Angel

Michael Dwyer

Liverpool University Press

The opening chapter rescues diphtheria from obscurity, offering a rationale as to why Irish health authorities opted to embrace a new and radical public health intervention and why they set the eradication of diphtheria amongst the first of their national goals. A study of surviving statistical data relating to infectious disease in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Ireland does not suggest that such an intervention was warranted. However, despite the distinct lack of diphtheria notifications recorded in this period, this chapter will show that diphtheria was indeed a major child killer.

Keywords:   Diphtheria, Disease, History of Medicine, Eighteenth Century, Nineteenth Century, Pre-Independence Ireland, Public Health, History

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