Pioneers in Public Health The NYU - Bellevue Contribution

Controlling Tuberculosis

Dr. Herman M. Biggs, a bacteriology pioneer in the United States, developed methods for the prevention and containment of the highly infectious disease tuberculosis, the leading cause of death in the 1880’s. As a professor of pathological anatomy at the Bellevue Hospital Medical College, Dr. Biggs issued a widely distributed pamphlet on the prevention of tuberculosis in 1887, and ensured the disease’s classification as reportable in 1897. The spread of prevention information, along with the close tracking of tuberculosis outbreaks, facilitated treatment and containment of this disease, and served as a model for public health officials.