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June 1915

THE FREQUENCY OF INFECTION WITH THE TUBERCLE BACILLUS IN CHILDHOOD

Author Affiliations

ST. LOUIS
From the Department of Pediatrics, Washington University Medical School, and the St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1915;IX(6):478-484. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1915.04100480019002
Abstract

A statement in one form or another that 90 per cent, or more of children are infected with the tubercle bacillus by their fourteenth' year has frequently appeared in both the medical literature and the lay press of the last few years. This is one of the factors which has been urged in support of the theory that the pulmonary tuberculosis of early adult life is a lighting up of an old latent infection acquired during childhood—a possible but as yet unproved hypothesis. In tracing back the authority for this statement we find that it is almost entirely based on the figures of Hamburger and Monti,1 who made tuberculin tests on 532 children convalescing from diphtheria and scarlet fever in the wards of a public hospital in Vienna. These children were first tested by the cutaneous method, and if the reaction was negative, 1/100 milligram, or more, of tuberculin

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