Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure
Crowded living conditions and poverty have always played a role in the spread of tuberculosis, but in the early days of the disease, its cause was not known, and the methods of treatment caused the sufferers to get worse rather than better. The industrial revolution added more cases due to crowded living conditions in tenements. Around the turn of the century, spurious research indicated that mountain air was a cure, and many sanitariums were built. The success of these was due mainly to the fact that people's health in general was improved by diet, fresh air, and exercise, NOT by the mountain air. Science came up with a vaccine, and more knowledge curtailed the spread of the disease, so many of these institutions were closed down in the 1960s, but there are recurrences from time to time, such as the one in the early 1990s when Multidrug Resistant strains started to appear.