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October 26, 1984


JAMA. 1984;252(16):2215-2219. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350160083025

The prospects for a healthy childhood have never been better. Children today enjoy an unparalleled opportunity for a healthy in utero start to life, for an untroubled neonatal period, and for an infancy and childhood that are free of diseases that exacted an inexorable toll in decades past. Despite the medical advances that have provided this opportunity for a healthier existence, a multitude of problem areas remain in pediatric medicine that are still being sorted out, defined, and developed. This brief review will look at some recent examples of advances and promises of advancement that may further contribute to a healthier childhood.

Animal parvoviruses have been known to produce disease in a variety of species, but until recently no human counterpart was proved. In the mid-1970s, Cossart et al,1 in London, accidentally discovered a parvovirus (B-19) as they were screening blood for hepatitis B virus. It was not until