National Geographic : 1942 Apr
MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE that tuberculosis always gives definite warnings when it begins -signs or symptoms by which it may be rec ognized. Medical science knows this is not true. Early tuberculosis usually gives no dan ger signals. Such symptoms as a cough that "hangs on," persistent chest pains, and blood or blood-streaked sputum are incorrectly associated with the early stages of the disease. They are really in dications that tuberculosis has been present a long time, or has progressedrapidly. The surest way to detect early tubercu losis is by X-ray or fluoroscopic examina tion of the chests of apparently healthy people. If the disease is present, the doctor, knowing the patient's history and physical condition, sees the telltale evidence. Early diagnosis is vital. Tuberculosis can nearly al ways be treated successfully in its earliest stages. In its advanced stages, it is very dif ficult to cure. Tuberculosis has declined from first to seventh place as a cause of death, and con tinues to decline. Medical leaders hope that it can be virtually eliminated by 1960. If this goal is to be realized, the search for cases of early tuberculosis must be inten- sified. Thousands of unrecognized "carriers" of the disease scatter tuberculosis germs wherever they go - among their families, friends, and fellow workers. Tuberculosis al ways comes from tuberculosis. That's why you must be on the watch especially of boys and girls in their late teens, and young adults. Be doubly watchful of people in families with known cases-of any one who has been in contact with an active case of tuberculosis. The best protection is an annual health examination, including X-ray examination of the chest. Most city health departments have X-ray facilities for those who cannot afford private care. Metropolitan's free booklet, "Tuberculo sis," 42-N, contains up-to-date information about this disease. COPYRIGHT 1942-METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (A MUTUAL COMPANY) Frederick H. Ecker, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Leroy A. Lincoln, PRESIDENT 1 MADISON AVENUE, NEW YORK, N. Y. UEUESTION: What are the usual danger signs of early tuberculosis? NSWER: There aren't any!