Tag: contagious diseases

History Medicine

Rheumatic Fever: An Ailment From a Bygone Era

Rheumatic fever is not a disease you hear much about in the 21st century.  It is a disease, however, that plays a minor role in my WW1 Trilogy as Hettie Bartlette’s father, Benjamin, suffers from the ailment. What is rheumatic fever?  It is a complication that can result from streptococcal infections such as strep throat.  It […]

Edwardian era History Medicine Victorian era

Tuberculosis: Necessitated the Opening of Sanatoriums

Tuberculosis, also known as consumption, was a common disease in the 19th century. So common, in fact, that sanatoriums were opened for treatment of the disease. These institutions exposed patients to fresh air and provided proper nutrition; however, for many patients it was where they died. Public campaigns were organized to stop spitting and encouraged people […]

History Medicine Victorian era

Cholera: The Mere Mention of the Word Caused Fear

Cholera. The mere mention of the word was enough to cause fear in 19th century communities. The disease struck suddenly and killed quickly. Its cause wasn’t identified until the 1850s. Symptoms Cholera is caused by a bacteria and, like typhoid, is spread by food or water contaminated with feces. Basic sanitation and water purification can […]

Edwardian era History Medicine Victorian era

Typhoid Fever: A Consequence of Contaminated Water

Typhoid fever is a disease pandemic in areas without a clean water supply. In the Victorian era, before plumbing was common, and in the Edwardian era, in areas that still relyed on outhouses, the disease was a daily threat. Public health campaigns encouraging people to wash their hands helped reduce the number of cases. So […]

Edwardian era History Medicine Victorian era

Diphtheria: Inspiration for a Race Held Annually Since 1925

In the early 20th century, diphtheria was among the top 10 causes of death. Death rates, however, were dropping. An antitoxin was developed in 1890 and began being used on patients the following year. It worked by neutralizing the toxins produced by the Corynebacterium diphtheriae bacterium. Sometimes the antitoxin, which was taken from horses, was […]

Edwardian era History Medicine Victorian era

Pneumonia: Leading Cause of Death in the Early 20th Century

In the days before antibiotics many people died from communicable diseases. One of these diseases was pneumonia. At the turn-of-the-20th-century it was the leading cause of death, and 40 percent of those who died were under the age of five. Adults, of course, were not immune. Women were susceptible to pneumonia because their tight corsets […]

Canada History Medicine

The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918: More Devastating Than WW1

Most years the flu is nothing more than an annoyance, killing only a small portion of the population.  One pandemic, the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918, went on to become the most devastating in human history. Despite the name, the virus did not originate in Spain. Spain was neutral in World War One.  As a […]

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