Tuberculosis in Colorado

There is renewed interest in tuberculosis since the recent arrival of the man with extremely drug-resistant TB at Denver’s National Jewish Hospital. Today most people view tuberculosis as a disease of the past, and it is surprising to hear that strong surveillance and treatment programs continue today. Several titles available for loan in the State Publications Library collection are of historical and current interest:

Blazing the Tuberculosis Trail – Shows the history of tuberculosis treatment in Colorado’s early days and how National Jewish Hospital opened as a tuberculosis sanatorium, along with 3 other sanatoria. (Descriptions of the open air treatment are fascinating.)

A Medical Gentleman: James J. Waring M.D. – Biography of this early Colorado doctor who had the disease himself, with his work in the field, along with a picture of the stigma attached to TB. (Laws prohibiting hand shaking and kissing were attempted. Those prohibiting spitting were passed.)

Annual Reports of the State Board of Health, 1876- Case histories, rules for consumptives

Recent Levels of Known Tuberculosis in Colorado, 1957 – data for the 1940’s and 50’s, in addition to the work of Dr. Florence Sabin. (In 1949, about 69% of the metro area population aged 15 and older were x-rayed.)

Tuberculosis Manual – Current guidelines for screening, treatment, prevention, etc.

Tuberculosis in Colorado: A Summary of Cases – data for most years back to 1999.

Tuberculosis Program website at the Department of Public Health and Environment

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