Synopsis by Cara Saposnik
Tuberculosis was the number-one cause of death in 19th century America; as not only a disease but a social phenomenon, the epidemic serves as an early model for responding to a national health crisis. This two-part documentary series explores that response, as well as the personal and social ramifications of contracting TB. "Part I: The Captain of All These Dead Men" presents an overview of the disease and its attempted cures in the early part of the century. Personal stories of TB survivors are interwoven with commentary from health care workers and TB victims of the present day. Issues relevant in today's health care system -- such as prevention, control, delivery of services, and cost of containment -- are also raised.
epidemic, health-care, plague, tuberculosis