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MODERN MANAGEMENT OF TUBERCULOSIS—The Public Health Implications of Recent Advances

By C. Gerald Scarborough


Modern treatment for tuberculosis has greatly increased the problem of preventing spread of infection. BCG vaccination, for instance, would cause all persons to react to tuberculin test so that the possibility of tuberculosis could never be ruled out by this means. Streptomycin and more recently developed drugs may sterilize sputum so that diagnosis cannot be confirmed for some time after use of such drugs; when by use of these drugs the disease had been confined to caseous encapsulations, later breakdown of the encapsulations may release strains of bacilli resistant to the drugs both in the patient and in others infected with them. The temporary sterilization of sputum, coupled with the euphoria resulting in part from abrupt remission of the toxic state, may lead to premature discharge of patients from sanatoria and further spread of tuberculosis. Both the public and the profession must be impressed with these facts

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