DIS-EASE ANDDISEASETHE TONICWaterford County ArchivistJoanne Rothwell
DIS-EASE Humours – yellow, black, phlegm, blood Blood- sanguine; Phlegm-phlegmatic; Yellow Bile- choleric; Black bile- melancholic Melancholia – physical and mental disorder. An excess of black bile. A Treatise of Melancholie – Timothy Bright 1586 “an unnatural boyling of heate with wyndines under the left syde” “shortness of breathing” Gary Lindquesters "History of Human Disease," Fever- a hot, dry disease - yellow bile. So, the doctor would try to increase its opposite, phlegm, by prescribing cold baths. With a cold, where there were obvious symptoms of excess phlegm production, the regimen would be to bundle up in bed and drink wine. Hellebore, a potent poison that would cause vomiting and diarrhea, "signs" the imbalanced humor was eliminated.
MENTAL HEALTHIdiot Lunatic Melancholic Hysterical - medical termsIdiot – natural fool from birthLunatics – sometimes of sound memory and others notHysteria - associated with women “wandering womb”By 18th Century – disease of the mindJames Boswell “a disorder of the mind itself , which neither the most potent medicines nor the most violent exercise can remove”Lunatic Asylums – ward in the Workhouse, violently insane were moved to the District Lunatic Asylum in Waterford1808 – County Asylums ActWaterford District Lunatic Asylum – opened 7th July 1835. Built to house 100 patients1891- 359 patients new wings added in 1894
BATHS AND SPASSpas – taking the watersTurkish BathsPublic BathsSea Bathing
Turkish Baths Dungarvan, 1901Copyright Waterford County Archives
Healthy and Wealthy “heart disease caused most deaths among the gentry while debility, infections and accidents carried off a high proportion of the labouring classes.” Ireland was subject to outbreaks of fever due to famine and poor living conditions– 1741, 1801, 1817/1818, 1822, 1826, 1829-31,1832... Robert Peel in 1816- wet weather meant no turf could be saved contributing factor to the deaths by fever Select Committee investigating typhus epidemic identified unemployment as the major factor and sought out ways to provide work Waking the Dead – efforts by Church and State to stop the practice failed. Special appeals in 1818 and 1832 1799 and 1816 Window Tax became known as the “typhus
SMALLPOXContagious Disease – variola virus30% death rate, survivors “pock marked”In 18th Century Europe 1/3 of all reported cases of blindness a result of smallpoxEdward Jenner – cowpox vaccinein 1865 ten children, all under four years, died in Lismore WorkhouseIn Ireland 1871-1881 – 7550 deaths attributed to smallpox in Ireland1881-1891 – 2411901-1910 – 651864-1900 – 25 people in Waterford
TYPHUS AND TYPHOID Two different diseases Typhus – spread by lice and rats, flies. Symptoms are fever and sores. Overcrowding – Gaol Fever. Typhoid – infected faeces in the water or food supply Typhus epidemics in Ireland 1816-1819, 1830s and during the Famine 1 in 7 caught typhus in the 1816-1819 epidemic in Waterford city 1.5 million sick and 65,000 dead National Fever Committee – granted £1000 to Waterford City (Sir John Newport MP – friend of Peel) Increase in number of fever hospitals, boards of health established Suppression of wakes, burning of straw in infected houses, prohibition on selling of old clothes, better conditions and ventilation, suppression of mendicity Typhus – index of poverty
TYPHUS Theories on Causes: cesspools, stagnant air, hunger. Clothing suspected as carrier 1849 – William Jenner distinguished between typhus, typhoid and relapsing fever 1869 Irish Registrar General separated typhus from typhoid 1909 Charles Nicolle Institut Pasteur made the connection between lice and typhus Fear – boycotting Quarantine – impact on trade Waterford Fever Hospital 1817:469 male admissions and 461 females. 1818:1277 males and 1452 females Among the poor the disease spread to the entire household but in better class families the disease was confined to the fever victim – poor had a higher survival rate on contracted the disease High rate of medical mortality Famine and Fever as a Cause and Effect in Ireland, Dominic Corrigan,
TYPHUS TREATMENT 1742 – “bleeding, purging and a cool regimen” Leeches behind the ears or at the temples Dr. Bracken, Waterford 1816-19 purging “the most distinguished place” among his treatments Robert Graves – importance of wholesome food Wine, tea, coffee, ale, porter and beer recommended to treat patients and build them up Mortality rates declined from 1880s 1883: 20 in County 107 in City 1893: 20 in the County 31 in the City 1900: 4 in the County 11 in the City James Deaney – “Ireland was the last country in Western Europe with louse-borne typhus”
CHOLERA Cholera – bacterial infection of small intestine. Very high mortality rate 1832 – Cholera epidemic in Ireland March 1832 Cholera Board met in Dublin – April notice of symptoms and advice issued around the country Arrived in Waterford on 20th May1832 “the windows of the apartment should be thrown open and remain freely admitting air for 3 days” The affluent were told their best measure of safety was to provide for the poor Cholera struck all classes Vagrants and beggars spread disease – certain towns had special constables to prevent them from entering
CHOLERA 1832 Waterford County Cholera Board received £1812:6:7 grant aid from the Cholera Board Waterford City received £1850:4:3 1832 – 51,153 cases and 18, 955 people died 1832-1834 - 46, 175 deaths In England and Wales 16, 437 people died in the epidemic 26 April 1849 – Report of Dr. Christian Dvan Union – “ A genuine case of spasmodic cholera has occurred and is now under treatment” May – several cases 1846-1850 Dungarvan 723 cases of cholera with 344 deaths 47.4% mortality rate (1st case 29th April 1849 and last case 11th September 1849) 1864-1900 45 people died of cholera in Waterford
TUBERCULOSIS Infection of the lungs – consumption, phthisis Benjamin Martin, an English physician and author of A New Theory of Consumption (1720), hypothesized that TB resulted from the actions of “wonderfully minute living creatures.”. He further theorized that close contact with a consumptive, including frequent conversation so close as to “draw in part of the breath he emits from the Lungs,” was enough to transmit the disease. Medical theory still held that it was spontaneous and occurred in predisposed people 1882 Robert Koch discovered tubercle bacillus Sanatorium cure – clean air, rest, good nutrition
SCARLET FEVER and SCARLATINA Bacterial infection – sore throat, fever, rash Regular epidemics the bowels should be regulated afterwards with two grains of aloes and ten of salts given in treacle, at night, when required. The patient should be confined to bed in a well-aired room, with covering sufficient to retain warmth When the throat is much affected the fever is always higher, and determination to the brain is apt to supervene. As soon as heat of head or delirium indicates this, the hair should at once be shaved off entirely. Any attempt to retain it is futile, as it must fall after the fever, and its presence imperils life. After being shaved the head should be elevated a little, and kept constantly cool by rags wet with cold water often renewed, or by ice in a bladder or oiled silk. care must be taken that the bladder and bowels be emptied at proper intervals—the bladder every six hours, and the bowels once in twenty- four hours.
DIPTHERIABacterial infection – spread by coughing, sneezing and infected foods e.g. MilkMainly affects respiratory tract – sore throat, feverLeading cause of death among children in EuropeBacteria identified in the 1880s antitoxin developed 1890s. 1st vaccine 1920s
CONCLUSIONWidespread poverty lead to widespread diseaseIncreasing awareness of the connection – lots of reportsActions?Next week – Chronic Conditions in Health and Wealth
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