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June 21, 1965


JAMA. 1965;192(12):1088. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080250066013

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There are over 9,000 deaths and 50,000 new cases of tuberculosis in the United States each year, and increasing rates have been reported in some large cities. These facts, and others noted elsewhere in this issue (p 1045), remind us that tuberculosis remains a significant health hazard. About 75% of new cases occur among the estimated 35 million tuberculin-positive individuals, with persons among lower socioeconomic groups and in metropolitan areas, the elderly, and the chronically ill being at special risk.

Measures which will help break the chain of tuberculous infection include tuberculin tests and chest x-rays of case contacts, the establishment of case registries, chemotherapy and long-term followup of cases, BCG vaccination, and the prophylactic use of isoniazid. Such measures must be applied by private physicians as well as by those physicians responsible for the community's general health. All physicians as good citizens must also work for the continued social,

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