Why was tuberculosis formerly known as "consumption"

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Tuberculosis (or TB) was first isolated by Robert Kohn, a German physician (for which he won the Nobel Prize) in 1882, but has been around for even longer.  Egyptian mummies have been found with Tubercular decay in their spines. In the 19th and early 20th cenutries, it was the endemic disease of the poor in large, urban cities and was responsible for one in four deaths in England.

Originally it was known as consumption because when patients did not get the needed treatment, they would become "consumed" and waste away.

 

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lalithareddy | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease most often affecting the lungs but which can also affect other parts of the body. This deadly disease (formerly known as consumption) has plagued humans since the time of the early Egyptians and, until recently, was on the decline in industrialized nations because of improved housing conditions, nutrition, and the effectiveness of the drug isoniazid available since 1951.

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