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People who survived Tuberculosis (TB)

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  • Jude Barnes (Ash) (1942 - 1997)
  • William "Bob" Poplett (1921 - 1999)
    Find A Grave Memorial# 107818002 ; William Robert "Bob" Poplett Birth:  Jun. 18, 1921 Oak Park, Cook County, Illinois, USA Death:  Apr. 26, 1999 Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, USA Fa...

Please add profiles of people diagnosed with Tuberculosis & are living with it, or have died, but their cause of death was attributed to another cause.

“TB” is short for a disease called tuberculosis. TB is spread through the air from one person to another. TB germs are passed through the air when someone who is sick with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, speaks, laughs, sings, or sneezes. Anyone near the sick person with TB disease can breathe TB germs into their lungs.

Formerly called “consumption,” tuberculosis is characterized externally by fatigue, night sweats, and a general “wasting away” of the victim. Typically but not exclusively a disease of the lungs, TB is also marked by a persistent coughing-up of thick white phlegm, sometimes blood.

When TB germs are active (multiplying in your body), this is called TB disease. These germs usually attack the lungs. They can also attack other parts of the body, such as, the kidneys, brain, or spine. TB disease will make you sick. People with TB disease may spread the germs to people they spend time with every day.

TB disease can also be treated by taking medicine. If you have TB disease, it is very important that you finish the medicine, and take the drugs exactly as you are told. If you stop taking the drugs too soon, you can become sick again. If you do not take the drugs correctly, the germs that are still alive may become difficult to treat with those drugs. It takes at least six months and possibly as long as one year to kill all the TB germs.

At the turn of the 19th century, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in the United States and most European countries. With the discovery of a cure and improved city planning, it seems that the airborne, bacterial disease would have slowly disappeared. However, one third of the global population is infected with TB today.

Despite the overall incidence of tuberculosis dropping 20 percent since 1990, the World Health Organization still predicts 36 million TB deaths in the next 20 years. The disease has surged back in Africa, taking advantage of the vulnerability of HIV/AIDS sufferers. The frequent coexistence of the tuberculosis bacteria and the virus that causes AIDS has been dubbed the "cursed duet."

The rate of tuberculosis infection continues to decline in the United States. It fell by 3.3 percent in 2004, when there were 14,511 confirmed cases. More than half of these infections — 53.7 percent — occurred in foreign-born persons living in the country. A tuberculosis vaccine, Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG), exists, but its effectiveness is extremely variable, and therefore it is not recommended for use in the United States and Europe. The World Health Organization does recommend it for newborns in developing countries, because it appears to offer some protection in children. Researchers continue to seek better alternatives.

The first anti-TB drug, streptomycin, was developed in 1944, but TB has always required at least two strong antibiotics to defeat it. And treatment takes at least six months, with many patients stopping their medications as soon as they begin to feel well. Doing so allows the most resistant bacteria to remain in the person's body and spread their genes to a new generation. At the next opportunity they can attack again, with greater force. Today, to combat the growth of resistant strains, Directly Observed Treatment Short-course, or DOTS, is the conventional procedure for delivering drugs so health care workers can monitor patients fulfilling their required drug regimen. But multidrug-resistant strains of tuberculosis, called MDR-TB, are becoming extremely dangerous and require more expensive and painful drugs to cure.

Notable People who survived OR are living with TB

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