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January 14, 1939

A PROGRAM FOR EARLY AGGRESSIVE TREATMENT OF PULMONARY TUBERCULOSIS: CLINICAL LECTURE AT SAN FRANCISCO SESSION

JAMA. 1939;112(2):136-141. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.62800020003009
Abstract

Pulmonary tuberculosis is a chronic systemic disease with a decided tendency to heal. The chronicity, inherent tendency to heal and curability are due to a beneficent auto-immunization. Were this not true the human race would long since have vanished. This chronicity, when the disease is untreated, inadequately treated or unrecognized, is responsible for its continuous contagion and universal distribution, for a reducible economic waste and disability and for a certain irreducible mortality rate.

A program for early aggressive treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis is properly initiated by the diagnosis of the disease in the earliest possible stage. During the period of inception and the early stage more can be accomplished by less therapy than at any time thereafter.

The inception of tuberculosis is subtle, the onset insidious and the early progress stealthy and so devoid of symptoms that the host is taken unawares.

When the disease first becomes clinically manifest it

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