Tuberculosis cases are rising. Embrace the sun! By Marc Sorenson, EdD
Tuberculosis and other diseases are reappearing. Sun exposure is diminishing.
The “Biggest Monster’ Is Spreading. Yet, it is Not the Coronavirus, according to the New York Times.
Tuberculosis kills 1.5 million people each year, and it is the biggest infectious-disease killer worldwide. It is a disease that has caused the death of millions, and evidence of infections date back to about 8,000 BC. Furthermore, the CDC estimates that one-third of the world’s population has tuberculosis. Thus, the Times refers to the disease as the “biggest monster.” That may be true, but antibiotics have never been the answer to Tuberculosis. In addition, the paper indicates that resources used to stop the disease (antibiotics, etc.) have been used to fight Covid-19. Thus, they are scarce. Yet, antibiotics have never been the best answer to tuberculosis. Rather, they serve as a poor substitute for the real answer, which is sunlight.
So, can sunlight quell tuberculosis?
Here is research that should also be of interest to those who love the Sun. In the early 20th century, sun therapy (heliotherapy) treated tuberculosis patients effectively. (Clark, W. Treatment of Bone and joint tuberculosis with Tuberculin and Heliotherapy. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 1923;5:721-39.) Dr. Aguste Rollier’s records of 1,129 surgical TB cases showed heliotherapy (sun therapy) cured 87% of “closed cases” and 76% of “open cases.” Hence, among 158 patients with tuberculosis of the hip, 125 were cured and 102 “regained complete recovery of articular function.” Thus, according to one source, “During one period of time, 1,746 of 2,167 tubercular patients under Rollier’s care completely. Consequently, the only failures were among those who had allowed their tuberculosis to enter its most advanced stages.”
The history of Tuberculosis in Bern, Switzerland.
Another study also gave a historical perspective of tuberculosis. It showed how the city of Bern, in Switzerland, obliterated most tuberculosis problems while using lifestyle changes. And those changes included greater access to sun exposure. The authors studied tuberculosis incidence and lifestyle in Bern from 1856-1950. There were three areas of the city assessed due to their historical problems. One was the Black Quarter, where during 1911-1915 there were 550 cases for 100,000 people; the second was the City Center with 327 cases per 100,000 people. The third area was the Outskirts, with 209 cases per 100,000 people. Especially relevant were three living conditions correlating closely to the disease:
- The number of persons per room. Thus, a higher number predicted a greater risk of Tuberculosis.
- A greater number of rooms without sunlight also predicted a greater risk of Tuberculosis.
- In addition, a greater number of windows per apartment predicted a diminished risk of of the disease.
Hence, the country worked to address these problems by improving living conditions, reducing room crowding, building open-air schools and building sanatoria. As a result, TB risk dropped from 330 cases per 100,000 in 1856 to 33 per 100,000 in 1950—a 90% drop! Sanatoria, by the way, were secluded hospitals specializing in healing through good food, fresh air and sunlight.
Can we stop the superbugs?
“Superbug” tuberculosis has now entered the U.S. It is nearly 100% antibiotics resistant, which does not bode well, since it could probably cause an immense killer epidemic. There seems to be no answer to the “superbug” causing it. On the other hand, is there an answer? Could the sun provide a solution to this health threat? The superbugs are upon us like a bad horror movie, and when they start to take over the earth, there will be one remedy: UV light from the sun or sun lamps. We should take care to have our defenses set up in advance by enjoying daily sun exposure.