Methods of tuberculosis control, in large part dependent on the ability to recognize latent and early clinical tuberculosis, have been modified greatly by a better understanding of the epidemiology of the disease and by new and more accurate diagnostic aids. Use of the terms consumption and phthisis to designate pulmonary tuberculosis is very suggestive of the advanced stage in which the disease was generally diagnosed three or four decades ago. The differentiation from other chronic respiratory diseases was not made until marked deterioration of health with emaciation, weakness and dyspnea had occurred, while the hopeless outlook and the stigma attached to the disease made the physician hesitate to make the diagnosis so long as any excuse existed for failure to make it.
Since that time educational campaigns by public health agencies have resulted in recognition of tuberculosis as a contagious disease which can frequently be controlled in the individual case
HETHERINGTON HW. THE DIAGNOSIS AND MANAGEMENT OF LATENT, SUSPECTED AND EARLY CLINICAL TUBERCULOSIS. JAMA. 1937;109(24):1952-1956. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780500008003