August 2, 2021

Schrödinger and other figures in history who died of tuberculosis

Tuberculosis sounds like a disease of the past, something eradicated and with which we no longer have to live. Sounds like Miguel Hernández and Vivien Leigh. Both the poet and the actress who played Scarlett O’Hara in gone With the Wind (1939) died due to this disease. Unfortunately, throughout history many people have died of tuberculosis, since the treatment for this infectious disease was slow to be found and is long, so it requires great adherence to it.

Others wizards of letters like Paul Éluard, George Orwell; Franz Kafka, Katherine Mansfield; Anton Chekhov and Joan Salvat-Papasseit also died of tuberculosis. Simone Weil (philosopher and political activist), physicist Erwin Schrödinger O Srinivasa Ramanujan (Indian mathematician) also passed away due to this same cause.

And before them were Santa Teresa de Jesús, Baruch Spinoza, Louis Braille, Santa Rosa de Lima, Eugène Delacroix, Maria Blanchard or Henry David Thoreau. Even the writers Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Emily Brontë or Molière they succumbed to the bacteria that cause the disease.

In the World Tuberculosis Day, on Hipertextual we want to talk about this disease. Since, despite all the people – known or not – who have died because of it, it is an infection that is preventable and treatable.

What is tuberculosis? How is it transmitted?

As we said, everything is the fault of a bacteria. A bacillus-type bacteria, to be more exact. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis it is the culprit of everything and “almost always affects the lungs”, explains the World Health Organization (WHO).