The germ itself
Understanding disease key to battling fear
Friday, June 21, 2013 8:23 PM
At the end of Baz Luhrmann's 2001 movie "Moulin Rouge!" nightclub singer Satine dies on stage after a performance with a vicious coughing fit that left her tissues dotted with blood.
As the story goes, she fell victim to consumption, better known now as tuberculosis, a disease caused by bacteria that usually attacks the lungs.
Couple that pop culture depiction with a history of treatment that included sending patients away to sanitariums, and there's an understandable fear surrounding the disease.That fear became very real in the last few weeks for the residents of Greenwood County when they learned children and teachers of the Ninety Six Primary School were exposed to the germ.
The outbreak resulted in 94 people infected with the germ, 10 children with abnormal chest X-rays and one school employee actively sick.
According to the Global Tuberculosis Institute at the New Jersey Medical School, TB used to be one of the leading causes of death in United States until the 1940s "when scientists discovered the first of several drugs now used to treat TB."
SEE MORE IN TODAY'S INDEX-JOURNAL.