The “white plague” that never exits

Tuberculosis is also called “tuberculosis”, formerly known as “tuberculosis”. In 1794, the “Russian Academy of Sciences Dictionary” explained “tuberculosis” as follows: “A disease in which the human body gradually weakens due to infection of the lungs, liver, or spleen, thereby losing life.”

The transmission of tuberculosis has always been “unbiased” for both the poor and the upper class. Count Gregory Orlov was a capable cadre of Empress Catherine II of Russia. His 22-year-old wife was killed by tuberculosis in 1781. In 1819, the Russian Minister of the Interior and the Mayor of Moscow also passed away due to the disease. In the next few years, the Russian royal family still failed to escape the clutches of tuberculosis. Empress Maria Alexandrovna and Grand Duke Georgi Alexandrovich, younger brother of Nicholas II, died of the disease in 1880 and 1899, respectively.

From the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 19th century, doctors recognized that a healthy lifestyle is the only way to treat tuberculosis. In fact, as early as 1818, the pathologist and therapist Friedrich Uden of the St. Petersburg Medical College pointed out: “The weak body needs to gain strength through a good diet and adequate rest. Excessive exercise and If you are too excited, you must correct bad habits such as bad posture and uncontrolled staying up late. For these patients, regular walking exercise is good for health, while sports such as walking, horse riding, dancing, and fencing are not good for health… ”

| Folk Remedies |
Of course, people at that time also relied on medication. For patients with hemoptysis, the prescription prescribed by the doctor is: 0.3 g opium, 0.6 g camphor and 1 g Jin Zhi (sulfur bacteria), or 30 ml of French dry white diluted with nitrate, or it contains orchid tubers and gum And roasted rice with chocolate. It is also recommended that patients suck ice cubes, drink ice water, cup the torso, back and heels, and apply a foaming ointment between the shoulder blades. However, all these treatments not only do not help the condition, but also ruin the status of medicine in people’s hearts.

“People no longer trust doctors.” A painter described in his notes about 19th-century Russia. “Therefore, patients with chronic diseases such as tuberculosis trust their friends’ remedies. Admiral Alexander Shishkov treated him in this way. A female friend of TB. He asked her to take cinder water and a small cup of chamomile dew collected by a servant.” There is no doubt that her condition worsened due to the lady’s lack of knowledge of tuberculosis.

Doctors have conducted decades of research in order to find an effective treatment for the disease. Count Alexander Mechesky described in his memoirs how the first wife of Senator General Nikolai Lukács received treatment in Moscow in 1833: “Poor Nikolai has denied it for a long time. His wife was suffering from tuberculosis. He searched for a doctor, but to no avail. In the end, he hoped that a foreign doctor who had just arrived in Russia wanted to heal the patient by breathing fresh air. Nicholas’s wife was like It was a life-saving straw, hoping to try this new treatment. The advent of winter did not stop the doctor’s enthusiasm for treatment. Nikolai and his wife were living in a house on Tvoskoy Boulevard in Moscow The house has a well-designed garden with caves, fountains, and labyrinths, which are deeply loved by the citizens of Moscow. It is also in this garden that his tuberculosis wife is in an open semicircular arch. She spent the whole winter in the roof pavilion. At the beginning of the treatment, she felt that she breathed smoothly and her spirits improved a lot, but the good times did not last long, and she passed away when spring was about to come.”

“The Last Spring” (1865) by a Russian painter depicts people’s helplessness against tuberculosis at that time.

For a long time, people did not think that tuberculosis was contagious, and they were never afraid of being with patients, working with them, socializing with them, and going in and out of the theater together. In the mid-1840s, a writer in St. Petersburg invited the critic Visarion Belinsky to attend his literary salon. Belinsky was already very sick at the time, and he climbed the stairs with difficulty while coughing. However, his physical condition did not cause panic among those present. In his memoirs, a student of Moscow University recorded campus life in the 1870s: “Professor Dmitry Kirilov, who taught organic chemistry,’s tuberculosis became more and more serious. He kept coughing. He even had difficulty breathing. Some students stopped coming to his class because he couldn’t bear his dying state in a chair. But some’strong-willed students still don’t want to miss this senior professor’s class.”

In 1932, in an open-air school in London for children with tuberculosis, the children were asked to sleep outdoors in order to receive the best treatment at the time—fresh air and sunlight.

In the hospital, tuberculosis patients also share the same ward with patients with other diseases. They even spit on the floor at will, and the cleaners simply sweep away the sputum instead of completely. Patients who had recovered from other diseases and discharged from the hospital were also affected by tuberculosis because they inhaled dust with germs in the hospital. In addition, public transportation such as buses, carriages and trams at that time provided a breeding ground for the spread of diseases. The reason remains the same: the sputum spit out by passengers is sucked into the lungs along with dust after drying. This vicious circle eventually led to the death of 60 people from tuberculosis for every 10,000 residents of St. Petersburg in 1881.

| Establish a specialist nursing home |
In 1865, French physician Jean-Antoine Wellman inoculated rabbits and hamsters with substances extracted from the mucous membranes and blood of tuberculosis patients, and then successfully found tuberculosis nodules in their bodies, thus proving the transmission of tuberculosis. Sex. In 1882, the German doctor Robert Koch announced the discovery of tuberculosis-causing bacteria-Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which can spread to a distance of about 1.5 meters through the mucus that people cough, speak loudly or sneeze, and endanger the health of others. . Later, researchers from different countries also confirmed that the mucilage in the patient’s body is harmful to the health of others even after it dries, and the infection period of the bacteria can reach two and a half months to six months under extreme temperatures. It can also be maintained for three weeks.

People are looking forward to specific medicines for the treatment of tuberculosis. In 1890, Robert Koch announced at the Tenth International Medical Congress in Berlin that tuberculin can kill tuberculosis bacilli, but he kept silent about the preparation method of tuberculin, and he even wanted to get rich from it. However, contrary to expectations, this “special drug” that has not been fully tested is not only ineffective, but has caused many patients to die from tuberculin. In 1900, a Russian newspaper wrote: “The tuberculosis as we know it causes 3 million deaths a year in Europe alone, which is equivalent to the total number of people who died in war in half a century.”

Robert Koch, a German doctor and bacteriologist who discovered Mycobacterium tuberculosis

In response to tuberculosis, European countries have established hundreds of sanatoriums in mountainous areas, including two very well-known sanatoriums in Russia, which were built on the lakeside and Yalta near Vyborg. However, the Yalta Sanatorium, which was converted from the Crimea Tuberculosis Hospital, can only accommodate up to 100 patients. Starting in 1910, the All-Russian Tuberculosis Union began to organize regular donations for the construction of tuberculosis hospitals and nursing homes. However, there are still voices of opposition: “It is better to use the donation to clean and disinfect cities, sidewalks, water flows, rivers, residences and rail transit!”

Patients receiving treatment in a tuberculosis specialist nursing home in the 1940s

Even if people build nursing homes, the situation is still not optimistic. In 1912, a medical doctor wrote: “In Germany, at least 1 million people suffer from tuberculosis. In France, 1/10 of young people aged 20 to 25 are infected. In Russia, this number is as high as 3000000.”

When people began to doubt whether science could do anything about this terrible disease, the famous Russian immunologist Eliye Elikh Mechnikov, whose wife died of tuberculosis, retorted: “50 years ago, Wellman Confirmed the infectiousness of this disease. It has been 30 years since Koch announced the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Despite this, humans have not yet been able to conquer tuberculosis. In some important information, we can actually find some effective prevention methods. .Because before Koch’s major discovery, we have confirmed the contagiousness of tuberculosis, and we should take measures to eliminate the virus-carrying substances, first of all, the mucus residues of tuberculosis patients. I bet it is while we are discussing this topic. , There are still people spitting in public places. This is not the inability of science to resist diseases, but people’s ignorance of the infectiousness of the virus. Typhus, cholera, dysentery, tuberculosis… If we still have the ability to overcome these diseases Determined, then we should strictly abide by the sanitation guidelines before the specific drugs are developed.”