I mentioned Dr Comstock in an updated comment at Anchorage Museum to open tuberculosis exhibit but his work deserves a separate entry. See the previous note and the complete obituary here http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/18/health/18comstock.html

“In 1957, the United States Public Health Service sought a doctor to study tuberculosis patterns in Alaska, where one of every 30 natives was in a tuberculosis hospital. Dr. Comstock volunteered, saying he saw an opportunity to study preventive treatment.

He conducted a controlled trial in 29 villages near Bethel, Alaska, where tuberculosis was rampant. Members of each household were given the drug INH or a placebo for a year, Dr. Chaisson said.

The study showed the effectiveness of INH in preventing tuberculosis: after a year, INH produced a 70 percent decline in cases of the disease; a follow-up study five years later showed the drug’s benefit had been sustained.

In the trial, Dr. Comstock and his family took INH themselves to convince the participants of his belief in the therapy’s safety, Dr. Chaisson said. After the trial, Dr. Comstock returned and gave INH to those who had received the placebo.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest guidelines on INH therapy use Dr. Comstock’s data to this day.”

George W. Comstock, 92; epidemiologist was influential in the treatment of tuberculosis By Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer July 18, 2007

Public health researcher dies SMITHSBURG – George Wills Comstock, an epidemiologist whose research helped shape the U.S. response to tuberculosis in the 1940s and ’50s…

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