Re: Theory vs. Data

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Fri Jul 14 2000 - 15:03:14 MDT

KPJ wrote:
> It appears as if <> wrote:
> |
> |Okay, I've been sloppy in my language. It's around, and lots of First
> |Worlders are supposed to carry the bacterium in a dormant state, I think.
> |
> |But actual cases of it have been at very low levels for quite a while, yes?
> |Because when it crops up it gets hit with antibiotics. I don't know or
> |have heard of anyone having had it, within the circles of people I know, in my
> |lifetime, whereas my grandmother and Feynman's wife both died of it in the
> |1940s.
> |
> |So, _effectively_ absent. As a significant cause of death. Am I still wrong?
> The antibiotics killed off most of the tuberculosis population, leaving only
> the resistent forms. The resistent forms do not die when given most forms of
> antibiotics, and they have increased among the poor people in the USA. This
> give reason for some concern. The war against tuberculosis continues.

If this were so, it would be spread relatively evenly among the poor in the USA.
It is not, much like half of the remaining 2500 cases of syphyllis in the US are
found in only 25 counties in the US, they persist due to memes of stubborn
ignorance, fear of doctors and health care, insistence on perpetuating behaviors
that continue to spread the disease and a refusal to take medicines as directed.
Most recurring TB patients never take the entire regimen of antibiotics they are
directed to, they only take them until they feel better.

TB patients who are cured with anti-biotics if it is caught in time are clean of
the bacteria, but are sufficiently scarred in the lungs that it becomes easy for
them to be reinfected at the next exposure.

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