Intended for healthcare professionals


The White Death: A History of Tuberculosis

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 19 June 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1705
  1. Muiris Houston, medical writer
  1. Delphi Medical Communications, Ashbourne, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

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    Thomas Dormandy

    Thomas Dormandy

    Hambledon Press, £25, pp 448

    ISBN 1 85285 169 4

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    As I read this book, I have been asking some of my older patients to describe their memories of consumption. They paint a picture of silent terror. A young child develops the disease at the end of a terrace of houses, then a brother contracts it, and his friend three doors down is the next victim. In Ireland in the 1940s, you watched and waited while the white plague went about its deadly work.

    In the 1950s a workmate might disappear …

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