From the Editor - The Unromantic Killer; March 2009; Scientific American Magazine; by John Rennie; 1 Page(s)
Most Americans have the luxury of knowing almost nothing about tuberculosis. Because it is typically not a fact of life for us or anyone we know¿99 percent of its victims are the poor residing in developing countries¿TB can sit comfortingly on the horizon of our awareness, perhaps colored by wisps of romanticized claptrap about John Keats and other consumptive poets whose presentiment of their looming mortality is imagined to have spiritually illuminated their genius.
TB is anything but romantic, however. It is a grindingly awful, painful, wretched affliction that preys on the weak and those already worst served by society. Roughly 5,000 more of them will die of it on the day you read this column.