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Tuberculosis Forms of tuberculosis have been present in the human population since ancient times. Fragments of spinal columns from Egyptian mummies dating back to 2400 BC show definite pathological signs of tubercular decay. Around 460 BC Hippocrates wrote on the subject of a disease which we now know as tuberculosis. In his article he warned his colleagues against visiting cases in the late stages of the disease, because the patient’s inevitable death might damage the reputations of the attending physicians. The world’s population remained totally defenseless to the lethal effects of tuberculosis for thousands of years. Then, around the 17th century scientists began to hypothesize about the nature of the disease and began to search for a means to prevent it. In the Republic of Lucca in 1699, the government made the proclamation: "Human health should no longer be endangered by objects remaining after the death of a consumptive. The names of the deceased should be reported to the authorities, and measures undertaken for disinfection." This meant that the corpse and any possessions of that person who had been consumed by tuberculosis would be burned to eliminate the risk of spreading the disease to others. This measure was one of the first steps towards the elimination of tuberculosis as an epidemic because the public was now beginning to recognize the contageousness of the disease and began taking measures to prevent it. In 1720, the English physician Benjamin Marten wrote that TB could be caused by "wonderfully minute living creatures", which, once they had gained a foothold in the body, could generate the lesions and symptoms of the disease. He also stated, "It may be therefore very likely that by a habitual lyi... ... middle of paper ... ...s throughout the world. Bibliography: BIBLIOGRAPHY Associated Press. Drug-resistant tuberculosis seen emerging as global threat. San Diego Union-Tribune. October 23, 1997. van Embden JDA, van Soolingen D, Small PM,. and Hermans PWM. Genetic markers for the epidemiology of tuberculosis. Research in Microbiology 1992; 143: 385-391. Small PM, Shafer RW, Hopewell PC, Singh SP, Murphy M, Desmond E, Sierra M, Schoolnik GK. Exogenous reinfection with Multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis in patients with advanced HIV infection. N Eng J Med. 1993; 328: 1137-44. Shafer RW, Small PM, Larkin C, Singh SP, Kelly P, Sierra MF, Schoolnik GK, Chirgwin KD. Temporal trends and transmission patterns during the emergence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in New York City: A molecular epidemiologic assessment. J Inf Dis 1995;171:170-6.

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