National Geographic : 1944 Apr
N OBODY GUESSED Bob would be turned down. A strong, healthy boy like that! But the eye of the X-ray saw what human eyes could not see-that Bob had early tuberculosis. Luckily, with the help of a sanatorium he will almost certainly be cured. What is true of Bob is true of thousands who have tuberculosis-many don't even suspect it. Yet a tuberculous person may be a danger to his family, his associates, himself. Tuberculosis is contagious. The crowded living and work ing conditions of wartime are favorable for spreading the germs. And germs find easier victims when general health is low. The best precaution is keeping fit, plus regularphysicalexaminationsincludingchestX-rays. An X-ray of your chest can detect tuberculosis before other symptoms become ap parent. The usual symptoms -a persistent cough, chest pains, blood-streaked spu tum-may come very late. Then cure may be slow and difficult. Loss of weight, touches of indigestion, a constant tired feeling also may mean tuberculosis. Unfortunately, State health departments and tuberculosis sanatoriums report that some patients are forsaking health institutions for wartime jobs gambling away their chances of recovery, and exposing others to infection. Tuberculosis is dangerous to all ages, but particularly to young adults. Elderly people with coughs, "bronchitis," or "asthma" may have it. If you or members of your family have been in contact with a tuberculous person, see your doctor at once. Tremendous progress has been made in fight ing tuberculosis. Thirty years ago the death rate among wage-earning families was 220 per hun dred thousand people. Today it is about 40. On request, Metropolitan will send you a free book let, 44N, entitled, "Tuberculosis." COPYRIGHT 1944-METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE CO. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (A MUTUAL COMPANY) Frederick H. Ecker, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Leroy A. Lincoln, PRESIDENT 1 MADISON AVENUE, NEW YORK 10, N. Y.