Tuberculosis (TB) has ravaged human populations since ancient times. There has even been DNA evidence found of the disease in Egyptian mummies.
The European TB epidemic, which began in the 1600 and was known as the Great White Plague, rampaged for 200 years, killing an estimated one of every seven people it infected.
TB was continually a problem in colonial America. Even as late as the close of the 19th century, approximately 10 percent of all U.S. deaths were attributed to TB.