Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tuberculosis and Vampirism

Dracula and Tuberculosis? Surely enough the lack of information concerning the disease and its transmission led the pre-Industrial Revolution population to use their imagination and link Tb to vampirism. Symptoms such as pale complexions and the coughing up of blood were some reasons for this commonly held belief. Furthermore, people did not connect the fact that numerous members of a given household would often die to contagion, but instead they believed that this occurred because the first death (of the vampire) would drain the life out of the other family members. This is a great example of just how much knowledge was gained about Tb from the late 18th century to the early 20th century--when the first Tb vaccine was produced.
For more about this folklore: Click Here

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