Alok's Reviews > Catching Breath: The Making and Unmaking of Tuberculosis

Catching Breath by Kathryn Lougheed
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2019-final-reading-list, diseases, tuberculosis, non-fiction

For TB, the story of mutualism, compromise and outright warfare started long before the first humans embarked on their hunter-gatherer ways in Africa's Cradle of Life. But it was only when people started into the picture that things started to get interesting.

This is a brilliant work that captures the strange relationship between Mycobacteria, the bacteria genus that causes tuberculosis disease and Humans.

This book takes us across time and space from current London and Chennai and Tanzania to Egypt 3000 years ago to Israel 12000 years ago to prehistoric remains from thousands of years ago all in search of history of Mycobacterium and TB. It also sheds light on the whole genus of Mycobacterium and speculation on its origins and transference to humans.

It also covers the breadth of the tuberculosis treatment, types, causes and issues from lack of funding to social issues.

A lot of treatment options and diagnoses are covered and also novel treatments and also not so novel methods like rats being used for diagnoses due to novel ones being inaccessible.

One of the best things I liked is the emphasis that this is no longer a disease of poor and with a whole chapter on inequality trying to highlight it's not us vs them.

The reason I took away one star is this book could easily be expanded into hundred more pages without using all those medical jargon offered without any sufficient explanation. Also a lot of pop culture references seemed forced. There was too much emphasis on the tuberculosis of lung and hardly any coverage of extra pulmonary TB I'd have liked at least a chapter on it.

Reading about the suffering of tuberculosis patients was saddening and experiencing it myself, I could relate to a lot of it. This book inspired me to at least do something about it, though it may not be much.

This is a must book for anyone interested in educating themselves on TB.

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Reading Progress

January 15, 2019 – Started Reading
January 15, 2019 – Shelved
January 30, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019-final-reading-list
January 30, 2019 – Shelved as: diseases
February 16, 2019 – Shelved as: tuberculosis
February 16, 2019 – Shelved as: non-fiction
February 16, 2019 – Finished Reading

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