Humans have been dealing with different types of diseases for thousands of years. Most of the deadly diseases that affected humans in the past had little to no effective management methods. Diseases such as tuberculosis and hemorrhagic fevers like Ebola have resulted in increased scares due to their mortality rates. Through research, scientists continue to devise methods of managing and treating different diseases. Although modern technologies and advances in the medical field have changed these statistics, there are thousands of people who still die daily around the world due to tuberculosis.
Recently, two building on the John Hopkins Hospital campus in Baltimore were evacuated due to a tuberculosis scare. This happened after a small sample of the frozen bacteria was accidentally released in an internal bridge that joined to buildings dedicated to cancer research. The buildings were closed for approximately four hours as public safety officers were checking to ensure that the threat had been cleared (Molina).
Through historical studies, people can learn the origin of tuberculosis and its management over time. During the 18th century, tuberculosis was referred to as “the white plague” based on how pale infected people appeared. During the same period, in Western Europe, a tuberculosis epidemic led to a high mortality rate with 900 people in every 100,000 people succumbing to this disease. This earned the disease the name “the robber of youth” (Barberis, Bragazzi and Galluzzo).
Through history, people can relate the presentation of tuberculosis in the past with its current symptomatic presentation and compare the effectiveness of treatment methods. The history of the reduction of tuberculosis mortality rates can be used to appreciate the advances in the medical field.
Barberis, I., et al. “The History of Tuberculosis: From The First Historical Records to the Isolation of Koch’s Bacillus.” Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene (2017): 58(1), E9-E12. Accessed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5432783/. Web.
Molina, Brett. Tuberculosis Scare Forces Evacuations at John Hopkins Hospital. 6 July 2018. Accessed https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/07/06/tuberculosis-tb-scare-forces-evacuations-johns-hopkins/762534002/. Web. 7 July 2018.