History of TB

Consumption, phthisis, scrofula, Pott’s disease, and the White Plague are all terms used to refer to tuberculosis throughout history. Although it is estimated to have existed 15,000 and 20,000 years, it is generally accepted that the microorganism originated from other, more primitive organisms of the same genus Mycobacterium. It is believed that at some point in its evolution, some species of the bacteria was able to invade animal hosts. This possibly took place with the first speciesMycobacterium bovis, which is considered by most to be the oldest of the species that make up the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complexM. bovis eventually passed to humans at a time coinciding with the domestication of animals. Human bones from the Neolithic show a presence of the bacteria although the exact magnitude (incidence and prevalence) is not known before the nineteenth century. Still, it is estimated that it reached its peak (with regard to the percentage of the population affected) between the end of the eighteenth century and the end of the nineteenth century. Over time, the various cultures of the world gave the illness different names: yaksma (India), phthisis (Greek),consumptione (Latin) and chaky oncay (Incan), each of which make reference to the “drying” or “consuming” affect of the illness, cachexia. Its high mortality rate among middle-aged adults and the surge ofRomanticism, which stressed feeling over reason, caused many to refer to the disease as the “romantic disease.”

To read more on this subject please visit – www.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_tuberculosis

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