The Great Killer : The Forgotten Plague

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The Great Killer

By the 19th century, Tuberculosis or “consumption,” also known as “The Forgotten Plague,” had killed nearly one in seven of all the persons who had ever lived in America. This “plague” affected nearly everyone who lived in America, whether it was their father, mother, sister, or brother. It affected women, men, and even children. These victims suffered from bloody hacking coughing, unbearable pain, and fatigue. At this time, no one knew what caused it and how to cure it. Many believed the sickness was passed on hereditarily and that only certain people would stem this illness depending upon their genes. Little did they know, that this infectious disease was spread through coughing and close contact with people who had “consumption”. The role “consumption” played in affecting American History is very important for the fact that it helped with developments in better health laws, better social habits, and better medicine and treatments for sickness. The first role “consumption” played in affecting the course of U.S history was with the developments of many laws, health laws, and health organizations that still exist today. Before the great TB outbreak, many cities and towns had little to no health laws and health organizations to fight against disease. People went about their business not thinking of the harm they were doing to not only their body, but to the people surrounding them. Cities at this time were extremely filthy, with trash lining the streets,
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