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January 1966

Routine Tuberculin Testing in Infants and Young Children: An Appraisal of Its Necessity and Effectiveness

Author Affiliations

From the Erie County Health Department, Buffalo.

Am J Dis Child. 1966;111(1):31-34. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1966.02090040067005

IN HIS REVIEW of the natural history of tuberculosis Myers1 emphasized that although there has been a marked decrease in the mortality, morbidity and infectious rates in children, the control of the disease in the younger age groups remains a major challenge to preventive medicine owing to the continued presence in most communities of large numbers of infected adults, 30% to 50% of whom have potentially infectious disease. In view of the ease with which early infection and demonstrable clinical disease can now be detected and successfully treated, he concluded that routine periodic tuberculin testing of infants and young children should be instituted to detect infections which do occur. His argument is amply justified when the lethal and sublethal effects of the complications of tuberculous infection in infants and young children are considered. Indeed, his reasoning also points the way to ultimate elimination of the disease, but until this

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