It’s known by various names – most commonly tuberculosis, but at times throughout history referred to as: “consumption” because the patient experienced severe weight loss and was almost literally “consumed” with the disease; phthisis (derived from Latin-Greek phthinein meaning to waste away); scrofula or Pott’s disease; White Plague (making patients appear pale).
Evidence of tuberculosis has been found in both human and animal remains known to be between 15,000 to 20,000 years old. Egyptian mummies were infected with the bacterium and Hippocrates identified “phthisis” as one of the most widespread diseases of his time, observing that autumn was a particularly bad time of the year for persons with consumption.
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