Discussion concerning tuberculosis in childhood cannot be limited to a consideration of manifest disease but must include all forms of partially concealed infection. Under the topics that have been assigned as a part of the symposium, I shall consider both latent and clinically recognizable disease.
Knowledge of the incidence of tuberculosis in infancy and early childhood is in large part based on mortality statistics which, in view of untrustworthy criteria for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in childhood, are notably uncertain. It is well known that the mortality rate from the disease begins to rise within several months after birth, and reaches a peak during the first year of life. A rapid fall begins during the second half of the first year, and from the end of the second to the fifteenth year the curve maintains a uniformly low level, but from adolescence through early adult life it rises continuously.