No medical or economic problem at the present time can assume such a degree of importance on account of its almost universal application, and the degree of individual and state responsibility involved, as the prevention of pulmonary tuberculosis. This disease is known to affect approximately one-third of our population, and to constitute one-seventh of our annual deaths. Several millions of people in this country are now afflicted with a tubercular process, known to be communicable rather than hereditary. Practically, its transmission occurs, not so much from infected food-supply as from the existence of an almost ubiquitous agent disseminated by means of the sputa of infected individuals.
That the disease is thus communicable should not be understood to be so much the result of direct infectin from one person to another, after the manner of certain contagious diseases, but more because of the neglect to observe necessary precautions. There is thus
BONNEY SG. THE RECIPROCAL RELATIONS BETWEEN CONSUMPTIVES AND SOCIETY. JAMA. 1900;XXXV(17):1073–1076. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24620430009001c
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