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Old 12-22-2004, 06:38 AM   #31
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Angela H.- It is hopeless to contain it now, of course. I was talking about if it had been done back in the early 80's when only a few people had it.
Still, how could you identify everyone who had the disease? The symptons were not widely known, so many who had it didn't know about it.
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Old 12-22-2004, 08:49 AM   #32
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I know. We're going to have to decide it's *worth* it. I don't even know how they funded the TB sanatariums. I think the reason there's not more information about these institutions is the plain and simple reason we haven't needed them since they started mass producing penicillin after WWII. Because of these drugs people got the illusion that we could conquer any disease with drugs. Well, there are some diseases that penicillin doesn't cure. It only works with bacteria-caused disease, and we still are helpless against viruses. We have to do something we're not doing now. There's not alot of political courage out there on either side of the aisle, quite honestly, on the part of political officials. We need it for this.
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Old 12-22-2004, 09:12 AM   #33
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Quarantining HIV+ persons would never work. Why? B/c you'd never know who to quarantine. First, they didn't really know shit about the disease in the 1980s and second, the disease can remain dormant for 7 years. Many people don't know they have it until it's too late. Not to mention, people don't usually get tested for something they're showing no symptoms of (hell, lots of people who DO think they have HIV still won't get tested). What would we do, force everyone in the country to get an HIV test? That sounds like a big constitutional no-no.
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Old 12-22-2004, 09:19 AM   #34
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Somebody once posted that Cuba quarantined people with it back when the epidemic first started and they now have hardly any cases either. There was a time here in the US when there were only a few hundred people who had it. I know it's not American to do something like that but if those few people had been contained and the spread stopped think of all the MILLIONS of lives worldwide that would have been saved.
It's interesting that when this individual came and posted this and said he thought America should do the same thing everyone jumped all over this guy. No one defended him, he eventually got banned(not because of what he posted but how).

But now we're entertaining the idea? We're comparing early century(TB) to the 80's? We're comparing it to whooping cough?

This would never work. Just like many have said, first of all the spread of this disease before doctors even knew what it was, was fairly large. Most didn't know they had it.

But most importantly when you quaranty somone with whooping cough it's because you can't control how it spreads it's airborne, plus you have a cure. HIV/ AIDS you can prevent how it spreads and you have to quaranty for the rest of their life. You are basically sending someone to prison for having sex with their partner. I can't believe people are even considering this an option. Blows my mind.

The problem was that when this disease was first discovered no one did anything about. Everyone said it was a "gay disease", so no one cared. It was hate and lack of education that allowed this disease to spread.
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Old 12-22-2004, 10:09 AM   #35
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Still, how could you identify everyone who had the disease? The symptons were not widely known, so many who had it didn't know about it.
In the early days there seemed to be similar symptoms, most of them developed Karpici's (sp) the purple spots, and were very thin and had no immunity. It also seemed they got sicker faster. True you could never id them all, but most is a help.

Another thing you younger folk don't remember is the total fear and near hysteria there was over this in the 80's. I watched this growing up and it was scary. See, back then people didn't know what we know now. Someone mentioned TB being spread by casual contact and not AIDS, but you need to consider that back then we didn't KNOW that. First they said you couldn't get it from blood, then you could. First they said breast milk was safe, and that it didn't pass from mother to child, then they changed that. They evey proved using the same toothbrush within 3 hours, or some excessive kissing when both have gingivitis or mouth cuts or sores could cause it. Almost every week on the news, there was new info that discounted the old. So it was not out of the question for people to think any day they'd say it COULD be spread by casual contact. It was only afer MANY years of research that this was proven and some people are still convinced you can get it from sneezes or mosquitoes.
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Old 12-22-2004, 10:54 AM   #36
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What about the way TB patients were put in sanitariums in the early part of this century? What about leper colonies? And aren't TB and lepresy a lot less common than they used to be?

The medical anthropologist and physician Paul Farmer would disagree. Contrary to popular belief, TB is as prevalent today as it was when it was first discovered. In the United States, TB and MDRTB (multiple drug resistant TB) kill thousands of poor children, women, and men who live in urban centers like New York City and Los Angeles (just to name a few large cities). Harlem has the highest rate of infant TB deaths. TB is the number one killer inside prisons and on the street, it kills the homeless we pass by on the street. We don't hear about it because amongst the middle class and the wealthy (by middle class I mean the insured) it has been eradicated due to the fact that these two groups of people have proper access to medical care and can afford to cure it right away if an infection occurs in their families. I should also point out that the people infected with TB in these large urban centers also have the highest risk of contracting HIV; many have both TB and HIV.

In developing countries, TB is the number one killer especially if coupled with HIV/AIDS. Unlike AIDS, TB is a perfectly preventable and curable infectious disease . Ask yourself (by that I am not singling you out I mean the general you), what do the people who live in America's urban centers have in common with the people dying of TB and HIV in developing countries like Peru and Haiti?

It's poverty. Though these people have never met each other and due to economic circumstances never will, external factors like medical incompetence, poverty, and social inequality (to name a few) is what allows their cycle of poverty to continue and TB and HIV to spread. Their everyday reality engenders the quiet rage that Farmer expresses in his books and their stories, are ubiquitous in both first and third world nations where medical access is non-existent for those at the bottom.

Paul Farmer is a great resource if anyone is interested in reading more about TB and AIDS. Check out "Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues," his new book "Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights and the New War on the Poor" and his groundbreaking debut "Aids and Accusations: Haiti and The Geography of Blame."
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Old 12-22-2004, 11:26 AM   #37
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TB WAS pretty much wiped out for decades in the US, and has been recently reemerging especially among the poor. AIDS/HIV is one reason. There was a nurse in a hospital near me who died from TB and they tested hundreds of patients she had worked with. About 300 have tested positive so far. They are trying to contain it by catching and treating those people now before it spreads.
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Old 12-22-2004, 02:10 PM   #38
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TB WAS pretty much wiped out for decades in the US, and has been recently reemerging especially among the poor.
According to Farmer, TB was never wiped out in the U.S. It was wiped out amongst those with money and access to proper medical care but it never went away from the communities that have always lived in poverty. The reason it seems like it's "re-emerging" is because it's getting media attention again. But TB has never gone away and for those who have lived with it, the concept of "re-emerging" is insulting.
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Old 12-22-2004, 03:56 PM   #39
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I know TB never went away. The difference is that it used to hit just anyone. It hit king and commoner alike, and killed fast. Then they came up with penicillin, which made the more affluent able to treat it, but not the poorer people in the slums of New York and other big places. That's when it became a class thing, after WWII. It's still a problem for big cities like New York and Los Angeles, and also in chronically poor areas like Appalachia. My own grandfather was born in West Virginia, but his family left the place when he was really young to make a better living in Florida. The problem is still there. The question is, what's the best way to stamp out these killer diseases in these areas?
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Old 12-22-2004, 05:14 PM   #40
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I know TB never went away. The difference is that it used to hit just anyone. It hit king and commoner alike, and killed fast. Then they came up with penicillin, which made the more affluent able to treat it, but not the poorer people in the slums of New York and other big places. That's when it became a class thing, after WWII. It's still a problem for big cities like New York and Los Angeles, and also in chronically poor areas like Appalachia. My own grandfather was born in West Virginia, but his family left the place when he was really young to make a better living in Florida. The problem is still there. The question is, what's the best way to stamp out these killer diseases in these areas?

That's true, while it never went totally away, it was not the huge public health problem it was in the day of the sanitorium. I think it's safe to say the occurance of it was severely reduced. My family is from WV too and while 2 relatives did die from it (one in the 1910's one in the 1930's) it is virtually unheard of out there now, and the area is mostly poor. Babies have to take a TB test at 12 months, it's part of their required shots. I've never known a child to test positive, if they did, they'd have to be put in the hospital for agressive treatment. If found now, there are steps to stamp it out fast (like that story about the nurse.) It is NOT lurking around every corner like it was 100 years ago.
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Old 12-22-2004, 05:29 PM   #41
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Oh, I've found old newspaper clippings while looking through family bibles from the late nineteenth century with articles about deaths in our family from everything including TB. This stuff *was* everywhere. I myself would have died of pneumococcal pneumonia at the age of six if I hadn't had penicillin shots. Nowadays, it's true that immunizations have also helped and everyone gets one, thank goodness. Innoculations have cut down on this big time. Someone here who actually lives in New York or the Los Angeles area would know more about the situations in their cities. Birmingham isn't a big place, but there have been reports of TB cases in some of the poorer neighborhoods and the Public Health Department made an effort to get these people to the Public Health buildings to get their babies innoculated. It's a case of the people falling through the cracks as is sadly the case all over. It's burned me up that the local politicians have played politics with our charity hospital. People need that facility way too much for stupid political games. It's an example of how political corruption is responsible for alot of suffering. It really pisses me off.
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Old 12-22-2004, 06:22 PM   #42
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It was awful in the late 1800's-early 1900's through the depression. In the county where my dad lived as a kid, almost a whole small town was wiped out by TB, even whole families

Where I live, vaccinations for babies are free for all at the health dept.- even if you have insurance. When my first was born, we had ins. but the deductibles were so high the dr. told me if I couldn't afford it the health dept. gave it to everyone- even if you did not qualify as 'poor', they didn't ask your income. Now, most insurances cover all shots for kids under 12, and the health dept. still gives them free for all. If it's not like this in every state it should be.
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Old 12-22-2004, 07:29 PM   #43
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It's interesting that when this individual came and posted this and said he thought America should do the same thing everyone jumped all over this guy. No one defended him, he eventually got banned(not because of what he posted but how).

But now we're entertaining the idea? We're comparing early century(TB) to the 80's? We're comparing it to whooping cough?

This would never work. Just like many have said, first of all the spread of this disease before doctors even knew what it was, was fairly large. Most didn't know they had it.

But most importantly when you quaranty somone with whooping cough it's because you can't control how it spreads it's airborne, plus you have a cure. HIV/ AIDS you can prevent how it spreads and you have to quaranty for the rest of their life. You are basically sending someone to prison for having sex with their partner. I can't believe people are even considering this an option. Blows my mind.

The problem was that when this disease was first discovered no one did anything about. Everyone said it was a "gay disease", so no one cared. It was hate and lack of education that allowed this disease to spread.
Yes, very true. My father died of AIDS (and hepatitis) and I find the idea of quarantining AIDS patients absolutely repugnant. I can't even imagine him being locked up for years simply because he had a disease. Sickening that some people here even consider it. Someone posted that those in a sanatarium (for TB, I think) were treated well and not imprisioned. Of course, they were imprisioned...having their freedom taken away is imprisionment.
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Old 12-22-2004, 07:34 PM   #44
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Of course, they were imprisioned...having their freedom taken away is imprisionment.
What if that 'freedom' means the 'freedom' to spread the disease to countless others, what about their rights? I am not heartless to AIDs patients, I lost a brother in law to it. I'm only saying back when there were a couple hundred people with it, containing the disease could have saved the lives of MILLIONS who have died since! How could that be bad??
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Old 12-22-2004, 08:02 PM   #45
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What about those, kitten, who are horrified at being diagnosed with such a disease and spend the rest of their lives being so ultra careful to never expose any of their bodily fluid in the presence of another again? Should they be quarantined?
I think the only ones you can mean are those with little or no regard for the safety and health of others. Those people you will never willingly be able to isolate, so it ends up being moot.
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