The persistence of tuberculosis (TB) as a public health problem is as much a social phenomenon as it is a biological one. As far back as the time of Hippocrates in classical antiquity, TB was commonly referred to as “consumption” because of the characteristic deterioration of the body associated with the disease. Evidence extracted from the mummies of ancient civilizations has revealed that the TB bacillus has plagued human beings for tens of thousands of years. Still in the early 21st century, it is estimated that there are 8 to 12 million new cases of TB worldwide each year. The disease exhibits one of the highest infection rates of all known diseases. The causative agent of TB was discovered by Robert Koch in 1882 to ...

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