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Tuberculosis patients, 1940s. Patients in a waiting room at the municipal tuberculosis sanatorium, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Tuberculosis (TB) is an infection, usually of the lungs, by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB was a widespread cause of death before the use of a vaccine (from 1921) and antibiotics (from 1944). Before the use of antibiotics, a sanatorium provided patients with rest and nutrition to strengthen the immune system and encourage recovery. Photographed in July 1941 by US photographer Edwin Rosskam (1903-1985), as part of a US government project that documented life in the USA between 1935 and 1944.
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