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St. Louis Button Co.
St. Louis, MO.
Diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract illness characterized by sore throat, low fever, and an adherent membrane on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity. Between 1910 and 1911 Béla Schick developed the Schick test to detect preexistent immunity to diphtheria in an exposed person. Only those who were not exposed to diphtheria were preferably vaccinated. A massive five-year campaign was coordinated by Dr. Schick. As a part of the campaign, 85 million pieces of literature were distributed by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company with an appeal to parents to "Save your child from diphtheria." A vaccine was developed in the next decade, and deaths began declining significantly in 1924.