By Katherine McCuaig
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Additional resources for The Weariness, the Fever, and the Fret: The Campaign against Tuberculosis in Canada, 1900-1950
Robert Koch caused much excitement when he announced in 1890 that he had discovered a cure - a mixture of proteins and antigens derived from 24 The Weariness, the Fever, and the Fret a broth in which he had cultured tuberculosis bacilli. An infected guinea pig, when inoculated with the substance, had healed at the injection site. Koch postulated that repeated injections would similarly enable a human subject to slough off infected tissues and recover from the disease. Testing began. Tuberculous patients were injected with measured amounts of tuberculin in an attempt to stimulate natural resistance.
The authorities would also have to deal with the problem of patients unable to support themselves or their families throughout their cure. And both problems required more money. Aside from patent medicines, "tuberculin treatment" was the only specific targeted to the disease itself in the prewar period. Robert Koch caused much excitement when he announced in 1890 that he had discovered a cure - a mixture of proteins and antigens derived from 24 The Weariness, the Fever, and the Fret a broth in which he had cultured tuberculosis bacilli.
As a result of the publicity the Canadian Pacific Railway started an antispitting campaign on its lines in igio. 2 5 Like spitting, the public drinking cup in schools, hotels, railway stations, and other public buildings was considered an obvious purveyor of disease. "A public toothpick," one writer acidly remarked, "would be more unpopular, but not a whit more undesirable,"26 and various substitutes for the public drinking cup, including disposable paper cups and "bubbling fountains," were promoted.