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August 4, 1956


Author Affiliations


Professor of Medicine, Emeritus, University of Colorado School of Medicine, and President, the Colorado Foundation for Research in Tuberculosis.

JAMA. 1956;161(14):1368-1371. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970140024007

• The reservoir of infection from which new cases of tuberculosis spring is not decreasing as it should, and the spectacular decline in mortality in recent years has not been accompanied by a proportionate decline in morbidity. The tuberculous population is kept nearly constant, despite recoveries, by new cases and by a formidable number of relapses. Patients treated at home with antibiotics sometimes reach the sanatorium later after developing a resistant strain of the infecting organism.

The new chemotherapeutic drugs have brought about an astonishing reduction of toxic symptoms in the patient, decreasing need for bed rest, improved outlook for surgery, prevention or cure of lethal forms of the disease in childhood, and many other benefits. It is still necessary, however, to direct every effort to the drying up of the pool of infection from which the new cases come.