Tuberculosis : A New Theory Of Consumption

1766 WordsApr 18, 20178 Pages
Many deadly strains of virus and bacteria have plagued humans throughout history. One in particular has been known of since ancient times. It is known as consumption, phthisis pulmonalis, and white plague but the most common and widely accepted name for this particular disease is Tuberculosis (TB). According to Thomas M. Daniel, “It reached epidemic proportions in Europe and North America during the 18th and 19th centuries” (2006). Rutgers claims that, “fragments of the spinal column from Egyptian mummies from 2400 BCE show definite signs of tuberculosis” (no date listed). Hippocrates even stated that, “Tuberculosis was the most widespread of all of the diseases in his time and was typically fatal” (Niemi, 2014). Many of the great…show more content…
For example, the masks that medical personnel wore typically only consisted of one or more layers of porous gauze (Chepresov). Today’s standards consist of using a respirator, which is a special respiratory mask with a tight seal around the nose and mouth to prevent contamination with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Health care professionals will also wear latex or nitrile gloves, eye protection, and gowns to help prevent further contamination. It is one of the most frequent infections besides HIV/AIDS and malaria and recent estimates imply that one third of the world’s population is infected. More than nine million people are newly infected each year and it is fatal in approximately two million. According to Hain Lifescience, the four important parameters for the containment of TB are as follows: • Early diagnosis • Prevention of disease spreading • Effective treatment with antituberculotics • Prevention of resistance development Common symptoms, according to the CDC are a bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, pain in the chest and coughing up blood or sputum. They may be accompanied by weakness or fatigue, weight loss, no appetite, chills, fever and sweating at night. Additionally, the many names associated with the disease came from identifiable symptoms. For example, “white plague” was derived for the pallor color patients exhibited. Phthisis means “progressively wasting”, with pulmonalis referring to the pulmonary system or
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