Every year, the 24th of March is World TB Day. This date commemorates the day Dr. Robert Koch declared that he had found the bacterium responsible for TB in 1882. This was the first step towards curing the disease.
TB is still one of the most deadly infectious diseases in the world. Nearly 30,000 people are infected with preventable and curable TB each day.
Since 2000, TB has been eradicated worldwide. This is an estimate of how many lives have been saved.
24 March is the anniversary of the moment in 1882 that Dr. Robert Koch shocked the scientific community when he announced to a small group of scientists from the University of Berlin’s Institute of Hygiene, that he had found the cause of tuberculosis. The TB bacillus. Paul Ehrlich said that Koch made an announcement at this momentous occasion which marked a pivotal point in the history of a deadly infectious disease.
Koch presented many of his microscope slides as well as other evidence to support his explanation of the origins of tuberculosis in clear and simple terms. Koch’s announcement in Berlin was made at a time when TB was rampant across Europe as well as the Americas. This caused the death of one of seven people. Koch’s discovery opened up the possibility of curing tuberculosis.