By the dawn of the 19th century, the deadliest killer in human history, tuberculosis, had killed one in seven of all the people who had ever lived. The disease struck America with a vengeance, ravaging communities and touching the lives of almost every family. The battle against the deadly bacteria had a profound and lasting impact on the country. It shaped medical and scientific pursuits, social habits, economic development, western expansion, and government policy. Yet both the disease and its impact are poorly understood: in the words of one writer, tuberculosis is our "forgotten plague."
My American Experience
Do you have a tuberculosis story? Did you or someone you know have tuberculosis? Do you have a story of someone who spent time in a sanitarium? How has tuberculosis affected you? Share your story with American Experience.
The move to suburban living and the development of active public health programs have reduced the burden of tuberculosis -- a serious, sometimes fatal infectious disease of the lungs -- in many affluent countries. Many of us, however are not so lucky and are still faced with the ugly specter of TB which was so eloquently portrayed in the recent American Experience documentary, The Forgotten Plague.
Why is the “Forgotten Plague” still such a threat outside of the US and Europe? Read more...