Tuberculosis (TB) causing bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has been in existence and impacting the human population since ancient times. In the ancient time, TB was known as a ‘consumption’ condition. Many people used to be treated at their homes although some went to the salubrious climates in areas such as Adirondacks. Consumption, as tuberculosis was known in the 1800s, was also known as a wasting disease that influenced people’s health and caused alteration of the body. The condition also caused increased artistic feelings and ennoblement of personality (Sidel, Drucker & Martin, 1993). Diagnosis relied highly on the condition of the patient, with an emphasis on symptoms such as lymphatic, nauseous or anxiousness. In the 1970s and 1880s, doctors presented contradictory diagnosis and treatment prescribing all kind of obvious therapies for the treatment of the disease.
Towards the end of the eighteenth century, there was the development of the institutionalized treatment initiated by German doctrs, Drs. Herman Brehmer and Peter Detweiler. Their research led to the establishment of tuberculosis sanatoria in the United States. During this time, physicians, reformists and philanthropist believed that restricting the tubercular in these amenities would not only promote the wellbeing of the society but also the health of the infected individuals (Sidel, Drucker & Martin, 1993). As the notion of bacteriology began to be accepted and acknowledged, people now saw the need for caring for patients in isolated areas, away for the population. Such a move was regarded essential in averting the spread of the tuberculosis menace. These isolations played a significant role in the wellbeing of the society and more so, the establishment of the sanatoria away from town was a good move since it helped patients in their restoration.
The sanatoria were established in the countryside due to the assumption that towns were regarded pestilential and unhealthy. The countryside would offer fresh air and sunshine to the infected persons and a persuasive environment for recovery. In the beginning of the 1980s, fresh air and nourishing food were major recommendations among the physicians to the patient and the caregivers (Sidel, Drucker & Martin, 1993). This in turn made people turn away from urban life and develop fear on migrants and tenements. Pastoral environment was regarded the best locations for establishing sanatoria since it provided fresh and heathy nutrition to the patients (Sidel, Drucker & Martin, 1993). Nevertheless, as the care advanced and the obligation of recovery was slightly transferred from the patients and their caregivers to the physicians, the sanatoria with the nutritious environment ceased and were changed into geriatric, psychiatric, and other health related facilities. The large herd and pastures were sold and the money generated helped in launching various projects.
Today, the treatment is completely reliant on chemotherapy. For this reason, change in lifestyle, personal behaviors, and mental modifications are not necessary for recovery. In contemporary society, tuberculosis treatment is done in a clinical and modern environment using the technology as a major facilitator (Sidel, Drucker & Martin, 1993). Clean air, rest and nutritious foods however, play a significant role in recovery process. Healthcare amenities offer both inpatient and outpatient services for both urban and rural residence since TB is currently regarded a disease AIDS infected patients and the homeless. Interestingly, the urban hospitals are in the urban setting that were regarded the major cause of this epidemic (Sidel, Drucker & Martin, 1993). The advancement of the medical and major assumption revolving around tuberculosis is presented in the modification of the environment that was regarded the treatment zone, the sanatoria and nutritious setting into more advance antibacterial and clinical setting that gave rise to the current renowned modern health facilities.
It is in this more background that the antiquity of tuberculosis sanatoria in Virginia emerges and is well recognized. A good example of the most renowned sanatoria is the Blue Ridge Sanatorium (Sidel, Drucker & Martin, 1993). This sanatorium is one of the most renowned in Virginia and offers the best historical background of tuberculosis treatment advancement and the different assumptions revolving around tuberculosis. By researching on Blue Ridge current position and perusing through its archives to see how it has evolved over time and changed its attitude towards tuberculosis diagnosis and its advancement as a health facility, the historical background of tuberculosis can well be understood.
From the above line graph, it is evident that TB prevalence is following a diminishing trend. The reduced TB cases shows positive trend. In the 1980s, the TB cases were higher as compared to the 1990s (Virginia Department of Health, 2017). The major reasons for high TB cases during this time could be linked to poor technology and poor evidence based health care. Poor nutrition, inadequate education and awareness could also be linked to the many cases of TB in the 1980s and 1990s (Virginia Department of Health, 2017). On the other hand, it is evident that in 2010, TB cases have really diminished. The huge fall in the TB cases since 1980 to date can be associated with a range of factors. The advancement of technology and use of evidence-based nursing are among the major factors that have facilitated significant drop in TB cases. Additionally, health education and awareness creation among the people has also played a significant role in the reduction of TB.
To successfully control and reduce TB, high-level scrutiny is needed. Data offers valuable information required to determine the outline and trends of the epidemic; detect the most vulnerable population and the environment and come up with the best strategy and intervention for its control and prevention (Virginia Department of Health, 2017). Additionally, critical scrutiny of the data is very significant in that it provides a base for quality assurance, program assessment and evaluation of the advancement towards TB eradication.
- Sidel, V. W., Drucker, E., & Martin, S. C. (December 07, 1993). The resurgence of tuberculosis in the United States: Societal origins and societal responses.’Journal of Law Medicine and Ethics,’21,’303-316.
- Virginia Department of Health (2017). TB Surveillance Reports. (2017). 188.8.131.52. Retrieved 21 April 2017, from http://184.108.40.206/tb/EpidemiologyandSurveillance.htm