Tuberculosis Vaccine Perfected in Asheville, 1912

On November 5, 1922, medical pioneer Karl von Ruck died in Asheville.

Born in Turkey in 1849 and raised in Germany, von Ruck immigrated to the United States shortly after receiving his medical degree

Von Ruck, who studied and treated tuberculosis and related lung and throat diseases, settled in Asheville because the climate was therapeutic for people with such problems. There he opened a research laboratory and sanitarium before focusing his efforts on creating a vaccine for tuberculosis.

He produced such a vaccine in 1912 in the hopes of preventing children from contracting the disease. The vaccine was found to both prevent and treat TB. He was instrumental in establishing Asheville as the primary area for tuberculosis treatment in the United States.

Von Ruck continued his medical research and treatment of patients until only weeks before his death in 1922. He is buried in Asheville’s Riverside Cemetery.

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2 responses to “Tuberculosis Vaccine Perfected in Asheville, 1912”

  1. Susan says :

    I was glad to learn this about the vaccine for TB. My grandfather moved from CT to Asheville in 1912 because he had developed TB and it was the place to be for recovery. I have not idea whether he knew about the vaccine and it development. I do know that he had a hard time finding a job in Asheville, because there was a lack of understanding about the disease any many places would not hire anyone that even had a history of TB.

  2. Laura Cooper says :

    Thank you for this… my Great Grandfather Henry Sanders went to Asheville in 1911-1912 when he was diagnosed with Tuberculosis. My G Grandmother was a nurse in Philadelphia before they were married, which makes me wonder if this is how they found out about the Vaccine.

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