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August 15, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVII(7):362-365. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430850022001f

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Pulmonary phthisis or pulmonary tuberculosis is perhaps one of the most widespread diseases to which mankind is subject. It occurs in persons of all ages and in every country, and in all conditions of life.

While tuberculosis occurs in nearly every organ of the body, the scope of this paper is confined to that form of the disease which attacks the lungs, and that form also which is known as acute tuberculosis.

Cause.  —The cause of phthisis pulmonalis is due to the introduction into the lungs of the microörganism known as the tubercle bacillus. The existence of this bacillus was suspected by many, but it was left for Koch to demonstrate its existence, and its invariable association with this special disease.The tubercle bacillus is a short, fine rod, slightly bent or curved, and hence the name often applied to it of the "bent rod." Its average length is from

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