L0034625 A young woman comes to visit a sick young man in hope that
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
Detail: A young woman comes to visit a sick man in the hope that her love will cure him, surrounded by relatives. Colour lithograph by LaFosse after P.E.Destouches.
The lettering ("L'amour médicin") may allude to Molière's play of that title first performed at Versailles for Louis XIV and his court on 15 September 1665, although the play describes a man curing a love-sick young woman, not the reverse as shown here
c.1850-79 By: Paul-Emile Destouchesafter: Jean-Baptiste Adolphe LafossePublished:  - 
Printed: c.1850-79

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Catarrh by any Other Name: Influenza is Back (1790)

The influenza has again made its appearance in this city.

A medical correspondent has observed several mistakes in the accounts published in our papers, on the subject of this disease, and begs leave to lay before the public, for the benefit of his countrymen, the following short account of it, taken from notes of lectures delivered by Dr. Rush, the professor of the theory and practice of medicine in the college of Philadelphia, last winter.

The Doctor denied that the Influenza was produced by any sensible or unwholesome quality in the air; but allowed, that it was a good deal influenced, as to its violence and many of its symptoms, by the heat, cold, moisture, dryness and sudden vicissitudes of the weather. — He added, that it was not a new disease; that it had only acquired a new name; that it had been known in the early ages of physic by the name of the catarrhal fever , and had been described, very accurately, by Dr. Cullen, and other writers, by the name of Catarrh. It differs from what is commonly called a cold, in being produced wholly by contagion. The origin of this contagion is involved in as much obscurity as the origin of that of the measles and small-pox.

The Pennsylvania Gazette was one of the United States’ most prominent newspapers from 1728—before the time period of the American Revolution—until 1800. Published in Philadelphia from 1728 through 1800, The Pennsylvania Gazette is considered The New York Times of the 18th century.

Records are to be found of the prevalence of this disease in America, in the years 1733, 1749, 1761, 1771, and 1789. It is remarkable, that the weather and sensible qualities of the air were different in each of the three last times of its appearance.

The treatment of the Influenza recommended by the Doctor was different, according to the symptoms, constitutions and habits of the patients.

Where the pulse is full, and the habit plethoric, especially if it be accompanied with delirium or acute pains in the sides or breast, blood-letting, gentle laxative, or (if attended with sickness at the stomach) a vomit, abstinence from animal food, cold drinks, and cool air were advised. The drinks should consist of toast and water; barley water; balm, flax-seed, or bran teas; or water, in which raw or dried apples, peaches or cherries, had been infused when it was boiling, and suffered to remain until it became cold.

Where the pulse is weak, and a cough attends, without much pain, or signs of inflammation, the remedies should, in several particulars, be different from those which have been mentioned. Bleeding should be omitted. Warm punch, wine whey, sage, camomile, dittany or pennyroyal teas should, in this case, be the constant drinks of the patients. The cough should be composed by a few drops of laudanum, taken occasionally during the day, or by pleasant syrups of any kind. A sufficient dose of laudanum, or asthmatic elixir, should be taken at night to procure sleep.

Should the fever prove obstinate, and the symptoms be alarming, blisters ought to be applied. – The patient should, moreover, be indulged with fresh air.

In both states of the disease, frequent changes of linen will conduce much to the comfort, and not a little to the recovery, of the patient.

During the convalescent, or recovering state, the diet should consist of broths, soups, and light animal food; and the drinks, of malt liquors, and a little wine. With these, should be blended gentle exercise in the open air.

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

Related Posts

Tags: ,

Stay Connected

Connect with Accessible Archives on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin to stay up to date on news and blog posts or get our latest blog posts by email.

Positive SSL