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April 8, 1961

Positive Tuberculin Test

JAMA. 1961;176(1):73. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040140075029

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To the Editor:—  In the answer given to the question concerning the feasibility of chemotherapy for a child with a positive tuberculin reaction (JAMA175: 74 [Jan. 7] 1961), the writer correctly gives the impression that this problem is controversial and that more and more authorities are recommending treatment of small children with a positive tuberculin reaction who are otherwise healthy. He might have mentioned that the tuberculin test is currently undergoing a reappraisal in the light of evident cross reactions during and after infections with the unclassified (or atypical) group of mycobacteria.The portion of the answer I take issue with is the flat statement that children under 4 years of age "should be given 5 mg. of isoniazid per kilogram of body weight per day for one year or more." Work at several institutions (one of which is the National Jewish Hospital, Denver, Colo.) has indicated that a

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