Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
ANTUNES, José Leopoldo Ferreira; WALDMAN, Eliseu Alves and MORAES, Mirtes de. Tuberculosis through the century: canonic icons and signs of the fight against the disease. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2000, vol.5, n.2, pp.367-379. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232000000200010.
Tuberculosis has marked a strong presence in Brazil, throughout the twentieth century. The present study reviews canonic icons, signs and meanings related to tuberculosis, as a resource to approach social representations of the disease. Dispensaries have been organized to provide health services, education and social attendance to patients. Sanatoriums have been built, devoted to the isolation and long term treatments. The diffusion of spittoons and the habit of spitting, unusual for today, pointed out the belief of their usefulness in preventing the contagion. Screening chest radiography spread out the search for new cases of the disease. These were some of the elements gathered with the aim of supplying information to the study of tuberculosis experience, from the point of view of those who feared the contagion, who observed prophylactic measures, who suffered the disease's biological injuries, who had a daily relationship with their metaphors. As a conclusion, we delineate the epidemiological profile of a whole century of tuberculosis in Brazil, highlighting the perceived changes of the disease's insertion upon the social imaginary.
Keywords : Tuberculosis; Social Representation of the Disease; History and Health.