The Return of a Forgotten Killer
Once, tuberculosis was one of the world’s greatest preoccupations. Consumption, as it was known, killed indiscriminately, claiming luminaries like Franz Kafka, John Keats, and US President James Monroe. In the last two centuries, TB has claimed more lives than any other disease: an unprecedented and unsurpassed death toll of one billion.
Thanks to the advent of a vaccine and cheap drugs, TB kills very few people in the developed world nowadays. So it has quickly been forgotten in rich countries – thought of as a relic from the Victorian era.