incidents of Tuberculosis in SF, 1849-1854 : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

I am seeking information on the approximate number of cases of tuberculosis in San Francisco from 1849 to 1854. I have no specific info to back it up but it seems I read somewhere that the disease may have been quite common at that time in the SF area. This is important to some research I am doing regarding an individual who lived there during that time. I believe he may have contracted the disease while he was in San Francisco working as an attorney and died a few years later in Kansas. Just how widespread was the disease in San Francisco during that time. I would also like to know the average life expectancy of persons in the 19th century who became infected with tuberclosis. Thank you for any help you may be able to give. Thomas E. Holloway

-- Thomas E. Holloway (, November 04, 2002


I don't know the survival rate for mature adults but it was really bad for kids like only 50% survived. In regards to the period you are speaking about from 1849 to 1854 in San Francisco, people died from a lot of things they should not have died from like Cholera from bad water. In fact, there was a big Cholera epidemic in 1851 that a lot of people died from. Regarding Tuburculosis, I do remember a specific case in South Park in about 1854 where a young boy by the name of something Greenleaf died of Tuberculosis from drinking milk from a Cow which had Tuberculosis. A number of lawyers also lived in that area who may have contracted that disease from bad milk. People didn't pasteurize their milk like they should have. I also remember that the cure that all doctors gave at that time was to go down to the local butcher and drink a big cup of a slaughtered cows heated blood. Oh Yuk! Strange that doctors would think that almost the same thing that made a person sick would cure him.

-- Harry Murphy (harrymurphy*, March 09, 2003.

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