Tuberculosis

Under construction

History

TB in Scotland

In spite of the poor statistical information available to historians it would appear that although disease was a feature of rural life, it was more of a problem in cities. Between 1835 and 1845 the average death rate in 331 rural parishes, with a total population of 751,016 was 20.3 per 1000. The average death rate in the 14 principal towns of Scotland, with almost exactly the same population, was 26.7 per 1000. The lower death rate for the rural parishes was largely due to the fact that people living in the country were spread out over a large area, which meant that in times of epidemics they had a natural system of quarantine. The generally healthier environment in the countryside also helped build up resistance to disease. However, at the end of the 19th century returning migrant workers from the Lowland cities brought tuberculosis with them and the damp condition of the housing saw it spread like wildfire through the Highlands.

Page last updated - 27/10/15