Museum to open tuberculosis exhibit
The Anchorage Museum will open an exhibit Jan. 21 called “The Forgotten Plague: Alaska’s Fight Against Tuberculosis.” Dr. Robert Fortuine, who has written books about the topic, will give a talk during the opening from 1 to 3 p.m. The exhibit — which includes photographs, stories, artifacts and more — will remain open through April 1.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Alaska’s greatest killer was tuberculosis, now commonly known as TB. Considered by many to be a death sentence, the disease was particularly severe among rural Alaska Natives. In 1900, tuberculosis was recognized as one of the state’s greatest health threats, and the Bureau of Education established a health care system to fight the highly contagious disease.
Eventually, Alaskans gained control over the disease thanks to the combined efforts of many agencies, doctors, nurses and volunteers. The Forgotten Plague presents photographs, stories, artifacts and voices from Alaska’s battle against tuberculosis to tell a complex and compelling story of a tragic disease that is still not eradicated. The Forgotten Plague is sponsored by the American Lung Association of Alaska, the James T. Grabman Memorial Fund and the Rasmuson Foundation.
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