Tuberculosis has borne an invasive and impressionable mark on public health history. Its presence has influenced the development of medical practice and public health responsibilities, and its impact is still very much felt to this day. Yet the existence of tuberculosis has not been immune to social and political mechanisms. Illness is as dependent on human experience as it is on impersonal pathology (Ott 1). Therefore, as medical understandings of tuberculosis shift, so do the cultural and political interpretations of its influence. However, these conceptions do not necessarily change in complementary directions or relationships, so that social and political perceptions of tuberculosis return to affect its pathogenicity and management. The historical transitions of tuberculosis, from its early influence in the United States to its evolution into multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, are mitigated by social and political response, all of which parallel shifts in public health ideologies from tuberculosis's parochial perspective to its globalized interpretation realized today.
[...] The evolution of tuberculosis in the twentieth century has been a multifaceted change requiring a more universal management strategy, and illustrating how public health has become a globally interdependent practice and responsibility. With public health and tuberculosis control facing the effects of increasing globalization, the understanding of international relationships has become a priority for public health measures. Cultural competency is a necessary component for adapting to the idiosyncratic health practices of various cultures, which is specifically important to tuberculosis treatment. [...]
[...] Marten's work was one of the few that even suggested the possible infectivity of tuberculosis, and unfortunately society was too caught up with their romanticized perceptions of tuberculosis to accept its validity as an infectious agent. The concept of consumption enabled tuberculosis to gain popularity, but it also suppressed any efforts to realistically understand it. It would instead take significant amounts of time and scientific discovery to shift society's romantic hold on tuberculosis. The parochial grasp of consumptive romantics stayed strong until the middle of the nineteenth century. [...]
[...] Harvard Medical School. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease: Vol Iss 11, pg 869-876. Fidler, David P. (2001). The Return of “Microbialpolotik”. Foreign Policy: No 122, pg 80-81. Frickey, Jessica. (2005). Multi-drug resistant TB persists in California. Journal of the American Medical Association Jun Nov 2005.
[...] This development in the public health perspective of tuberculosis is considered to be a man-made consequence, and completely reprioritizes the public's and public health's conceptions of the disease. With the advent of antibiotics, tuberculosis treatment was widely accepted by the public, yet tuberculosis control was soon glossed over, lacking in the necessary upkeep. Therefore, the drugs that allowed the public to overcome their fear of tuberculosis eventually were responsible for tuberculosis's resurgence in the both the United States and the world. [...]
[...] Tuberculosis has evolved into a health issue of international status, and its global control depends on the networking and responsibility of multinational politics. Of consistent importance for tuberculosis management was its changing impression of public relations. The public image of tuberculosis began with the romanticism of consumption, but today, tuberculosis is publicly marketed quite differently, viewed as more of a consequence or condition of poverty. Naturally, the change in tuberculosis perceptions has been reflected in the change of tuberculosis populations, moving from upper- class artists to poverty-stricken prisoners. [...]
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