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Tuberculosis and music: a case report and review of clinical, epidemiologic, and cultural factors

Bertrand Herer
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 20 Number 3: Page 131 (September 2005)

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Abstract: Tuberculosis occupies a special place among respiratory diseases due to a number of widely discrepant factors: its continued clinical and scientific importance, the major socioeconomic issues associated with the disease, and the frequency with which it figures in artistic life. This case report of tuberculosis in a musician provides an introduction to a review of the clinical, epidemiologic, and cultural links between tuberculosis and music. The following points are considered: medical management of tuberculosis, transmission of tuberculosis in congregate musical settings, tuberculosis and socioeconomic status of musicians, and artistic relationships between tuberculosis and music. The close relationship between medicine and the arts and the global implications in control of tuberculosis were the basis for undertaking this review.

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