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Honora

Tuberculosis

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Honora

Dear All

 

I have a man, diagnosed successively with pyrexia, trench fever, tuberculosis, he died from the latter, at home, four weeks after disharge.

 

Looking for explanatory texts on tuberculosis (hopefully online) to help with writing his biography.

 

I found various American texts such as http://www.kumc.edu/wwi/index-of-essays/tuberculosis.html but no British source material. 

 

Can anyone help.

 

Honora

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seaJane

Try looking it up as phthisis which was a term still in occasional medical use at the time.

 

If I have time later I'll see if I can track anything down.

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Honora

Thanks Seajane - I should have thought - my great grandmother died from it at the age of 42 - I'll try that.

 

At least the Wiki article is well referenced!

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seaJane

https://europepmc.org/books/NBK344402 -  Tuberculosis in adults and children (2015).

 

On the right-hand side of the page you will see a link to "PDF version of this title" - in other words a legally free book.

 

sJ

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TTracer44

Hello honora, I have a Coldstream Guardsman who died in 1926 from same disease family tradition has it that he suffered a Gas attack during ww1, if you can relate you man's death to a certain cause related to the war I would be interested hear about it

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Whether poison gas was a predisposing factor for Tuberculosis has never been demonstrated, and now, 100 years on, I doubt that a link will ever be proven.

This thread discussed the issue last year.

 

 

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TTracer44

Thanks for the thread link, it was most informative, I was interested to know if there was a predominance of Tuberculosis by returning soldiers from the front and if the causes were known, but reading the thread it appears nothing was conclusive. 

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

TB was so prevalent in civilian society, and also amongst the troops due to close proximity, poor ventilation and nutrition, even before the introduction of poison gas.

Even proving a case was caused or aggravated by military service was difficult enough.

Proving it was due to gas was impossible.

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Frank_East

TB was thought to be connected with the non pasteurisation of milk along with overcrowded living conditions.There did not appear to be the availability of drugs to deal with it until long after the end of the Second World War.I note that of late there has been minor outbreaks of TB recorded.

 

 I had a young aunt who died from it in 1948 which was thought by the family to have been picked up from the time she was on war work.In those days, patients who could afford it were advised to live in Switzerland where it was envisaged the environment would relieve their suffering.

 

As regards military service, I know of a case where an Allied soldier was captured and held in captivity in intolerable conditions for a short period in the Western Desert.....later,subject to a medical, he was discovered to have picked up TB......sent home and discharged from military service.

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TTracer44

I grew up on a farm in the 1950's and the land girl did the milking, she contacted TB and later died from it, we also drank the milk before it was pasteurised, that was a family of five and none suffered any problems, this was before the regulations changed.

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trikidiki

My Gt Uncle's medical discharge report in 1916 said: "Started with influenza. A cough with phlegm followed. T.B. in sputum. Not caused or aggravated by military service." He had been in the military since 1909. He was discharged as "Totally incapacitated" about a week before his unit went to France.

 

Sadly his infant son contracted some disease while visiting him in hospital, they both died in 1918.

Edited by trikidiki
Mistyped date

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Robert Dunlop

Honora, was there anything specific that you wanted to know about tuberculosis?


Robert

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stevebecker

Mates,

 

I also have large numbers of AIF soldiers sent home with this illness.

 

Some died of it, but many others lived a full life?

 

S.B

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
13 hours ago, stevebecker said:

Some died of it, but many others lived a full life?

 

S.B

 

Yes, that's right.

Even in modern Western societies, about 95% of people contract TB in childhood, and develop immunity to it. For them, it is a trivial infection that most people don't realise they ever had. In the UK it was only this minority (in chilhood) that needed vaccination with BCG, as virtually everyone else was immune

BCG came in in the 1920s, so too late for the Great War cohort of men. For them, that 5% of nonimmune people was huge.

Many got TB and survived, many got it and died. The survivors often had lifelong sequelae, like bronchiectasis and other lung diseases.

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Honora

Sorry Robert 

I missed your post. I think I got my answers needed at the time.

 

But yes, Steve, I've come across others since my initial query, including one with fibroid phthisis. This man was invalided out of the RNAS and died at home a year or so later. This probably accounts for the reason he is not on the CWGC list and has an ordinary gravestone. I only discovered him because the  IWM list of memorials shows a memorial at the local Methodist Chapel (now closed) and he is listed on it.  (What happened to the plaque when the chapel closed is another query on the to do list.)

 

archive.org have a useful publication on fibroid phthisis and TB written by Clark, Hadley and Chaplin (1894) - but there appear to be many causes for the fibroid phthisis  - including childhood diseases, pleurisy, trauma etc - to guess how 'my man' acquired it and with only a basic service record and no pension record, I will have to leave it - although I suppose I could splash out sometime on his death certificate - which may not help any further...

 

Dai - thinking back, when I was at uni (longer ago than I care to remember), a student was discovered with TB and we all had to have a chest X ray. I think memory serves right. 

 

SeaJane - thanks for your suggestion - do you remember  (I doubt the boys will have read them)  the Chalet School series of books for girls, based in Switzerland so as to be near the local  Sanitorium.  I'd need to check details but there were also sanitorium (s) on the top of Mendip - not quite the same air as Switzerland.

 

Honora

Edited by Honora

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
20 minutes ago, Honora said:

Dai - thinking back, when I was at uni (longer ago than I care to remember), a student was discovered with TB and we all had to have a chest X ray. I think memory serves right. 

That is  probably correct.

I think nowadays, protocols have changed and perhaps more selective in who gets a dose of radiation.

23 minutes ago, Honora said:

books for girls, based in Switzerland so as to be near the local  Sanitorium.  I'd need to check details but there were also sanitorium (s) on the top of Mendip - not quite the same air as Switzerland.

Not quite, but equally harmless in treatment of Tubercle Bacillus.

The only therapies proven to work were BCG and drugs (usually lots, for a long time).

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voltaire60

  Honora- Dai Bach is right about looking in the best current textbook for stuff about TB (Well, being a doctor helps!!)-I had a go at the literature last year as I had a number of local casualties both during the war and after who snuffed it from TB. My thought on this was that it MAY be that over the period,say,1916-1925, that TB was a bigger killer in the British Army than the Spanish Flu.

     There is a specific modern study on what you want-   in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

 
 

Tuberculosis and World War I

 
 
 
Received: January 22, 2015

 

      How it can be accessed is a different matter. I found a much older study on TB during the war for all nations quite useful-on JSTOR,published c.1940-I will try to retrieve it tomorrow.

   What I think tends to be overlooked is that war grinds down manpower by its longevity-incidence of TB seems to increase during the war-poor sanitation, conditions, stress, foul air, rotting corpses-etc. Lets face, most of the war on the Western Front was like fighting in a sewer..

 

       Pyrexia means simply a fever-often listed as PUO-Pyrexia of Unknown Origin-ie Patient just got very hot. The miserable conditions make me suspect that the increasing prevalence of deaths from pneumonia towards the end ofthe war may,in fact, be(in some cases) just the last stages of TB that finished the man off.

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seaJane
4 hours ago, Honora said:

SeaJane - thanks for your suggestion - do you remember  (I doubt the boys will have read them)  the Chalet School series of books for girls .....

 

Honora

Honora,

 

Confession time - I've never read a Chalet School book! I know of them, however.

 

The reason my grandmother was never a State Registered Nurse was that she contracted TB somehow, and was in a sanatorium being treated for it when her exams were held. She wasn't allowed to sit the exams later, although she'd done all the studying. :(

 

This would have been in the late 20s, and she survived until 2005 and the grand old age of 96. 

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Ron Clifton
20 hours ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

I think nowadays, protocols have changed and perhaps more selective in who gets a dose of radiation.

.

I was given a BCG inoculation at school and a chest X-ray when I went to university. Both were routine procedures offered to everyone at the time.

 

Ron

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
12 minutes ago, Ron Clifton said:

I was given a BCG inoculation at school and a chest X-ray when I went to university. Both were routine procedures offered to everyone at the time.

 

Ron

 

Yes, well of course in those days Mr.C, the newly discovered Roentgen Beams were a bit of a novelty, and there were more than plenty to go round.:lol:

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Honora

Many thanks one and all

 

Now that I have the time again to research again, I am about to read your answers.

 

Honora

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Honora
On 07/07/2016 at 16:13, seaJane said:

https://europepmc.org/books/NBK344402 -  Tuberculosis in adults and children (2015).

 

On the right-hand side of the page you will see a link to "PDF version of this title" - in other words a legally free book.

 

sJ

 

Thanks SeaJane

 

This is an interesting read  - worth highlighting again, for those interested in  pulmonary TB - ggod to find something accessible to those of us without eg Athens logins to academic texts. 

 

Honora

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Robert Dunlop

Honora, it is a good read. The point about the risk of infection in 'household contacts' being 30% is very pertinent to the Western Front. With so many men living in close contact, it is no wonder that the prevalence of TB was high. One thing though - inhalation is not the only route of transmission. Gastrointestinal spread was/is also common from drinking milk infected with TB from cows. My paternal grandmother died in her early 40s of widespread intra-abdominal TB, having lived on the dairy farm in NZ prior to routine pasteurisation of milk.

 

Robert

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