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PHILLIPS THYGESON; Epidemiologic Observations on Trachoma in the United States. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1963;2(5):482-489.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Trachoma, by virtue of its poor immunizing properties and chronicity, bears a certain epidemiologic resemblance to tuberculosis and leprosy and is in consequence difficult to eradicate.
In the United States, as in most areas of the world, trachoma is a disease of the family. Infection often takes place in early life as a result of close contact between mother or grandmother and child, or between preschool siblings. No true carrier state has been demonstrated in trachoma but the frequency of minimal disease subject to periodic exacerbation is believed to be an important factor in its epidemiology.
In addition to close contact in the family, other factors with a bearing on the epidemiology of trachoma include poverty, poor personal hygiene related to deficient water supply, low educational standards, inadequate housing, and tropical or subtropical conditions conducive to fly proliferation and seasoiml epidemics of bacterial conjunctivitis. Sporadic cases of trachoma in adults still occur in the United States and are probably related to existing foci of trachoma in the communities concerned.
An understanding of the epidemiology of trachoma is essential if its eradication is to be accomplished.
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