Respiratory illness

TB is back with a vengeance

If you were a teenager before 2005, one reminder of tuberculosis in British life is that small circular scar on your bicep. Maybe you’ve explained to your children why it’s there, if you ever knew. The BCG is no longer a routine vaccination in the UK, a revision which signalled to many that TB was over. What used to be known as consumption became treatable, preventable and ostensibly consigned to medical history as a threat of the past. We tell stories about diseases as if they are constant things. ‘It’s no worse than flu’ has become a familiar phrase; but flu is not all that common, it varies wildly in