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December 1932


Author Affiliations


From the Henry Phipps Institute, University of Pennsylvania.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1932;50(6):945-951. doi:10.1001/archinte.1932.00150190147013

The susceptibility of adults to the contagion of tuberculosis, a classic subject of controversy, is still under discussion. The disease, many have maintained, does not occur more frequently in adults conspicuously exposed to the disease than in the general population. Statistics from sanatoriums and hospitals for the treatment of tuberculosis have been cited to show that tuberculosis is not unusually frequent in doctors and nurses in constant contact with it. However, in these institutions, suitable precautions, it is true, may be effective in preventing spread of infection. Those who deny the occurrence of exogenous infection of adults base their belief chiefly on the supposed infrequency of obvious marital contagion. If husbands or wives fail to acquire the disease when their consorts suffer with it, there is scant probability that adults are susceptible to infection from without.

Study of the pathologic anatomy has convinced many observers that tuberculosis of adolescence and