The fear of tuberculosis that often caused death has remained a fear among some people. This fear is known as Phthisiophobia.
A fear of germs is often the start of the fear. There is an overriding fear that the germs from another person can invade and take over ones health and well-being. Many will avoid people who appear visibly sick and they will worry if they have been around someone who later is identified as having a significant disease – especially if the disease is contagious.
As with most phobias it is likely this fear is partially observed and then added to. A phthisiophobic will work overtime to try to avoid gatherings where a person with tuberculosis may be found. Other symptoms include panic, confusion, trembling, weeping, an urge to flee, a sense of being smothered, nausea, sweating.
This is one of those fears that can be combated through education. The fact that there is not a great deal of research that supports a widespread pandemic coupled with the fact that the disease can be cured with antibiotics in most cases can go a long way in providing the framework to help a phobic personality come to terms with the fact that there really is very little to fear from this disease in modern culture.
If the fear is rooted in other fears a therapist may be the best alternative to dealing with the fears and facing life with new hope.