Journal Article

Tuberculosis, Bronchiectasis, and Infertility: What Ailed George Orwell?

John J. Ross

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 41, issue 11, pages 1599-1603
Published in print December 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/497838
Tuberculosis, Bronchiectasis, and Infertility: What Ailed George Orwell?

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In the last and most productive years of his life, George Orwell struggled with pulmonary tuberculosis, dying at the dawn of the era of chemotherapy. His case history illustrates clinical aspects of tuberculosis with contemporary relevance: the role of poverty in its spread, the limited efficacy of monotherapy, the potential toxicity of treatment, and the prominence of cachexia as a terminal symptom. Orwell's ordeals with collapse therapy may have influenced the portrayal of the tortures of Winston Smith in the novel 1984. I discuss unifying diagnoses for Orwell's respiratory problems and apparent infertility, including tuberculous epididymitis, Young syndrome, immotile cilia syndrome, and cystic fibrosis.

Journal Article.  4335 words. 

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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