The return of our nation's biggest killer in the 1900's is re-emerging in its most powerful form ever seen. Tuberculosis (TB) faded off America's screens in the 1950's as the invention of antibiotics became the problem solver. As problems with the disease became domestically solved, funding for the cause decreased under the assumption that other areas would begin to win the fight against TB as well. They never did. Currently new strains of multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB are now the world's biggest killer, second only to the AIDS virus. Explanations of how TB returned are present, as well as explanations of the areas in most dire need of attention. The synergistic effects that AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases can have on TB are explained. Current program implementations, domestically and internationally, are discussed with special attention diverted to the Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course (DOTS) program. An example of what the author believes to be an effective research design, with respect to the nature of MDR-TB, is included as well. .
HOW THE OLD THREAT CAME BACK AS A NEW THREAT:.
In the early 1900's and throughout the industrial revolution, the number one leading cause of death among Americans was Tuberculosis (TB), also called the "consumption" by which many people knew it to be called. It took many people by surprise, initially introducing itself with fever, flu or cold-like symptoms. Eventually it progresses so that it consumes its victims to the point where the disease causes them to perish in their own bodily fluids. The disease floods the lungs with fluids, making it very difficult to breathe until the body can no longer fight the bacteria that has permeated its system. .
In 1882 Robert Koch discovered the disease-causing agent, known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This bacillus form of bacteria can be present in two forms. One form is the active and contagious form of tuberculosis from which people die, and the other form is called tuberculosis infection.