Sunshine State Equated to Good Health
Back before there were any concrete medical treatments to TB, people had many different beliefs about how to cure the illness. One common belief was that Florida weather during the winter was able to help cure illnesses. The tolerable temperature of the salt water during the winter allowed for ideal sea-bathing, which was thought to be a valid treatment. Tuberculosis patients in particular were recommended to come down to Florida. It was believed that breathing dirty city air year-round would make a person infected with TB worse. However, if they were to come down to Florida (at least during the winter), they would be able to not only breathe in fresh air but also participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities. Also since many individuals infected with TB lost weight, it was believed that a wide variety and copious amount of fresh vegetables and meat would help the individual gain weight. In the Palma Sola article, it also stated that Florida generally had lower rates of pulmonary consumption (TB) which is because of the unique temperature and landscape of Florida. It also stated that the death rate in Florida was higher than it should be because the statistics did not take into account the invalids that ended up coming down to Florida too late to cure their illness, causing them subsequently die there.