Medicine: TB: Then & Now

When 100 physicians, nurses and public-health workers met in Atlantic City, NJ. half a century ago to found the National Tuberculosis Association, the "white plague" was the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. Each year it killed 188 out of every 100,000 people. Though Robert Koch had isolated the bacillus, little was known about how it infected mankind, or why the disease pursued such various courses. There was no vaccination against it and no drug treatment; X rays for diagnosis were still primitive, and medical thinking was full of superstitions about...

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