Tuberculosis Quotes Illustration

72+ Best Tuberculosis Quotes and Sayings for Inspiration

by | Updated: Oct 13, 2023

Tuberculosis (TB) is a devastating and infectious disease that has claimed countless lives throughout history. Despite being curable, TB continues to be a major global health concern, affecting millions of people worldwide.

Throughout the centuries, people have attempted to capture the impact of this disease and its aftermath in words.

From first-hand accounts of those suffering from TB to observations made by medical professionals, the following quotes shed light on the physical, emotional, and societal impact of this disease.

Get ready to be inspired, informed, and moved by these powerful quotes about tuberculosis.

Best Quotes About Tuberculosis:

1. After centuries of ineffective treatments, the microorganism that causes TB was identified and the cure was thought to be within reach—but drug-resistant varieties continue to plague and panic the human race. – Jim Murphy

2. Forty-thousand years ago, our ancestors set off from the cradle of civilization on their journey towards populating the planet. Tuberculosis hitched a lift and came with us, and it’s been there ever since; waiting, watching, and learning. – Kathryn Lougheed

3. Tuberculosis is the greatest killer of all time. – Frank Ryan

4. Tuberculosis shaped history; it’s the phantom plague. – Vidya Krishnan

5. Tuberculosis is once again proving itself to be one of the smartest killers that humanity has ever faced. – Kathryn Lougheed

6. Stop tuberculosis now; every breath counts. – Dixie Parham

7. Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow. – Mary Anne Radmacher

8. Tuberculosis appears to be as old as humanity itself. – David L. Schlossberg

9. Tuberculosis requires not just a medical history but a call to action. – Marcus Hinton

10. Long considered a romantic illness amongst artists and poets, treatment was often unavailable to poor and minorities. – Jim Murphy

11. In the end, the effort to combat TB spurred the development of public health in America and, along with HIV and Malaria, the effort to fight for global health around the world. – Jim Murphy

12. May we stand together for a TB-free world. – Rehan Nguyen

13. Never let the things you cannot do prevent you from doing the things you can. – John Wooden

14. When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t. – Thomas Edison

15. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. – Charles R. Swindoll

16. The organism responsible, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has had plenty of time to adapt to its chosen habitat–human lungs–and has learned through natural selection to be an almost perfect pathogen. – Kathryn Lougheed

17. Because fresh air was believed to cure TB, patients slept by open windows, even in winter, sometimes waking to snow and ice on their thick covering of blankets, frozen water in their glasses, and frozen urine in their pots. – Pat Nelson

18. The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. – C.C. Scott

19. Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are. – Arthur Golden

20. As people quarantine and social distance during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is especially interesting to learn that tuberculosis sanatoriums were created to keep those who were ill away from the general population and that those living in crowded spaces were more likely to spread the disease. – Pat Nelson

21. We do not have to be defined by our illness. We are much more than our symptoms. – Dr. Brent Shaefer

22. Struggle is a sign that you’re alive, that you’re human, and that you’re trying. – Zander Blancher

23. Tuberculosis means living in the shadow of death. – Sheila M. Rothman

24. Because fresh air was believed to cure TB, patients slept by open windows, even in winter, sometimes waking to snow and ice on their thick covering of blankets, frozen water in their glasses, and frozen urine in their pots. – Pat Nelson

25. Throw in the compounding problems of drug resistance, the HIV epidemic, and poverty, and it’s clear that tuberculosis remains one of the most serious problems in world medicine. – Kathryn Lougheed

26. In the early years of TB sanatoriums, mothers, fathers, children, and grandparents … both the young and the old, the rich and the poor … went away to recover at hospitals … sometimes for years. – Pat Nelson

27. Tuberculosis―once the cause of as many as one in five deaths in the U.S.―crossed all boundaries of class and gender, but the methods of treatment for men and women differed radically. – Sheila M. Rothman

28. I’ve overcome tuberculosis and my life was at risk. – Thiago Silva

29. A vaccine that prevented tuberculosis would merit a Nobel Prize, but it’s just very difficult to develop. – Tom Frieden

30. It is not uncommon when you delve into family history to run into the words “consumption,” “tuberculosis,” or the “White Plague.” – Pat Nelson

31. Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the oldest diseases known to humanity and has been affecting humans for thousands of years.

32. It is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which primarily infects the lungs, but can also infect other parts of the body.

33. In the 19th century, TB was commonly known as “consumption” due to the weight loss and fatigue experienced by those infected.

34. TB is highly contagious and can be spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

35. TB is often associated with poverty and malnutrition, as these conditions can weaken the immune system and make it easier for the bacteria to take hold.

36. Some of the most famous people to have suffered from TB include Edgar Allan Poe, Frida Kahlo, and Robert Louis Stevenson.

37. In the 19th century, sanatoriums were established to treat TB patients, and some of these institutions inspired the design of modern-day hospitals.

38. The first effective treatment for TB, streptomycin, was discovered in the 1940s and has since been used to treat millions of patients worldwide.

39. In some countries, TB is known as the “white plague” due to the pale appearance of those suffering from the disease.

40. In the past, TB was often treated with a strict regimen of bed rest and good nutrition, as it was believed that this would help the body heal.

41. TB can be treated with a combination of antibiotics, but treatment can take several months or even years.

42. Despite the efforts of the global health community, TB continues to pose a significant threat to public health, particularly in developing countries, and there is still much work to be done to bring an end to this disease.

43. Tuberculosis, starvation, fatigue, and there are many who have no desire to live. – Edward R. Murrow

44. Whatever happened to the good old days: you know, dirty attics, tuberculosis and general all-round suffering? – Arnold Wesker

45. In the Mortality Bills, pneumonia is an easy second, to tuberculosis; indeed in many cities the death-rate is now higher and it has become, to use the phrase of Bunyan ‘the captain of the men of death.’ – Sir William Osler

46. The only thing necessary for the triumph of tuberculosis is for good men to do nothing. – Mark Rider

47. Some believe that tuberculosis is not a disease of the body, but a disease of the soul. – Victor Teague

48. The fear of tuberculosis is worse than the disease itself. – Douglas Lopez

49. In the fight against tuberculosis, there are no borders. – Kyle Peterman

50. Tuberculosis is a thief that steals life, but hope can defeat it. – Sally M. Walker

51. A cure for tuberculosis is worth more than all the gold in the world. – Piper Middleton

52. Tuberculosis is a silent killer, but with treatment and care, it can be defeated. – Dr. Nimesh Harim

53. Tuberculosis is a reminder that we are all connected, and that the health of one affects the health of all. – Bill Shadburn

54. Tuberculosis is a disease of poverty, but it knows no social or economic boundaries. – Phil Loper

55. Tuberculosis is a battle, but with determination and hope, it is a battle that can be won. – Jared Haws

56. Tuberculosis is a challenge, but it is a challenge we must face together. – Karen Holder

57. Tuberculosis is not a sentence, it is a call to action. – Unknown

58. Tuberculosis is a disease of the past that still haunts us in the present. – Author Wallen

59. Breathe deeply, until sweet air extinguishes the burn of fear in your lungs and every breath is a beautiful refusal to become anything less than infinite. – D. Antoinette Foy

60. Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. – Oprah Winfrey

61. Inhale the future, exhale the past. – Author Unknown

62. The wisest one-word sentence? Breathe. – Terri Guillemets

63. Only those who know how to breathe will survive. – Pundit Acharya

64. If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance. – Andrea Boydston

65. Pause, breathe. Repair the universe, then proceed. – Author Unknown

66. Breathe in deeply to bring your mind home to your body. – Thich Nhat Hanh

67. Nature is that lovely lady to whom we owe polio, leprosy, smallpox, syphilis, tuberculosis, cancer. – Stanley Norman Cohen

68. The cure for bad politics is the same as the cure for tuberculosis. It is living in the open. – Woodrow Wilson

69. I wanted to explore cancer not just biologically, but metaphorically. The idea that tuberculosis in the 19th century possessed the same kind of frightening and decaying quality was very interesting to me, and it seemed that one could explore the idea that every age defined its own illness. – Siddhartha Mukherjee

70. Hysteria, epilepsy, tuberculosis, and cancer were all found to result from the erratic propensities of a past life. – Max Heindel

71. The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted. – Mother Teresa

72. Covid-19 and tuberculosis are two different illnesses, one caused by a virus and the other by a bacterium, yet there are other similarities such as predominantly attacking the lungs while also being known to attack other parts of the body; being a global threat; and causing hardship to families and businesses. – Pat Nelson

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Final Thoughts

Tuberculosis has been a subject of interest for many centuries and has inspired countless writers, thinkers, healthcare professionals, and victims to share their thoughts and experiences.

These quotes provide insight into the struggles and triumphs of those affected by TB, and serve as a reminder of the importance of continued efforts to combat the disease.

Whether you are a patient, a caregiver, a healthcare professional, or simply someone interested in learning more about tuberculosis, these quotes are a valuable resource for gaining a deeper understanding of this complex and challenging condition.

John Landry, BS, RRT

Written by:

John Landry, BS, RRT

John Landry is a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, and has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He enjoys using evidence-based research to help others breathe easier and live a healthier life.