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March 12, 1955


JAMA. 1955;157(11):922-923. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950280046013

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Clinical tuberculosis and positive tuberculin reactions in children of preschool and primary ages have declined sharply over the past two decades. Epidemics of positive reactors and clinical cases in a classroom, once common, are now rare, but such outbreaks can still occur and children are still susceptible to tuberculosis.

A recent diagnosis of active tuberculosis in a 6-year-old girl led to an epidemiological investigation that disclosed three other infected first graders. This all occurred because the attractive young teacher, who appeared to be healthy, had an open case of tuberculosis that for some reason had not been discovered previously. This unfortunate situation shocked a prosperous "junior executive" suburb of a well-known city out of its complacent attitude toward tuberculosis. It restimulated a slumbering interest in the school health program and particularly the health of its teachers. It mobilized citizen parents to an action that previously they had not realized was

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