The age of Tuberculosis sanatoria began in 1849 when public health tried to isolate the sick persons from the healthy population. The fact that Tuberculosis is actually a contagious disease and can be transmitted from man to man was not yet known.
The idea of Tuberculosis being a curable disease and not a death sentence was first expressed by doctor Brehmer in 1854 after he suffered from the disease himself. As a student he caught Tuberculosis and was sent by his doctor to change the climate and live a healthy life in the Himalaya Mountains. He returned home cured and wrote a debate about how Tuberculosis can be cured.
Brehmer built a sanatorium for his tuberculous patients where they could get dietary food, fresh air, sun shines and a high elevated life.
The Tuberculosis suffering Doctor Trudeau opened the most famous sanatorium in America, Saranac Lake, where he also conducted laboratory testing and investigation concerning the cure of Tuberculosis. Patients in his sanatorium were strictly supervised, had to stay in bed the whole first three months to rest, eat healthy and drink high amounts of milk. Trudeau continued Koch’s studies of identifying the structure and physiology of Mycobacterium in order to understand how it could be killed.
All sanatoriums burned and disposed all the objects of the new income as it was proven the bacteria can for a period of time survive inside the clothes tissues, until it found a new host.
The sanatorium cure spread into entire Europe and America; it provided a dual action against Tuberculosis. Isolation of active cases from the healthy population made it possible to control the spreading of the disease. Secondly, sanatoriums provided the patients with regulate, hospital medical care and a better social and cultural environment.
Frequently, people were brought and interned in sanatorium against their will. Many persons could not understand the benefic consequences of this kind of cure, or even felt depressed. In an age without any sort of chemical medication the self-control, autosuggestion and a good moral played a tremendous role in the healing process.
The era of sanatoriums was over when the first antibiotic against Tuberculosis was discovered. Streptomycin successfully treated the infection and enabled patients to be treated in hospitals or receive home treatment. In order to prevent the development of resistance to antibiotics, a combination of efficient drugs is used in the medication lasting normally at least 6 months, even a whole year.
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