Epidemic Diphtheria: A Research on the Origin and Spread of the Disease from an International Standpoint

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Sonnenschein, 1898 - Diphtheria - 196 pages
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Page 176 - But the dampness and dryness of the soil depend upon the rise and fall of the ground-water, and have their appropriate seasons ; so long as the order of this occurrence is preserved, health is maintained. As long as the soil is well washed by the winter's high tide, and afterwards dried and aerated during the summer's low tide, all goes well ; but so soon as these salutary movements are arrested, or their order disturbed, diphtheria prevails, reaching its acme of prevalence when stagnation at a relatively...
Page 157 - What are those conditions ? Dr Newsholme has advanced the theory, based on an elaborate examination of statistics in various countries, that the activity of diphtheria is connected with the rainfall, and he lays down the following general induction from the facts: " Diphtheria only becomes epidemic in years in which the rainfall is deficient, and the epidemics are on the largest scale when three or more years of deficient rainfall follow each other.
Page 170 - I think that the experience of careful investigations extending over a number of years is to the effect that where a surface soil is, by reason of its physical constitution and topographical relations, such as to facilitate the retention of moisture and of organic refuse; and where a site of this character is, in addition, exposed to the influence of cold wet winds, there you have conditions which do tend to the fostering and fatality of diphtheria, and which also go to determine the specific quality...
Page 173 - ... infection. Will the community have the courage and wisdom to adopt the medical, police, social, and moral measures required to reduce it to insignificance? It must be confessed that but little more appears to be known concerning rheumatic fever than when, in the Milroy Lectures for 1895,* I showed by elaborate mortality and sickness statistics derived from the general mortality experience of different European countries, from the general notification experience of Scandinavian countries, and...
Page 187 - It is not strange, therefore, that the epidemic prevalence of all the above diseases is favoured by deficient rainfall, if this is sufficiently long continued. This deficient rainfall implies a low subsoil water, and a subsoil above the level of this water, which is relatively dry and warm, probably the optimum conditions for the saprophytic life of the above pathogenic micro-organisms. The causes of the transition of the...
Page 121 - It continued some time on the east side of Hudson's river before it passed to the west, and appeared first in those places to which the people of New England resorted for trade, and in the places, through which they travelled. It continued to move westerly till, I believe, it has at last spread over all the British colonies on the continent.
Page 169 - Many districts which, although usually dry, are liable to occasional floods, are remarkably free from the disease, so that it appears that a persistent impregnation of the soil with moisture is of more importance than fluctuations in the height of the ground water, particularly if these have any considerable range.
Page 176 - Adams' paper by quoting four of its most interesting paragraphs:— haying at various times prevailed, and, broadly speaking, right through the nine years, from beginning to end, a strict concordance may be traced between soil dampness and diphtheria on the one hand, and absence of diphtheria and soil dryness on the other hand.
Page 60 - The author makes out a very complete case for his contention that " in diphtheria we have to deal with a disease which creeps slowly from place to place, in which months or even several years may elapse before it takes firm root and begins actively to propagate itself.
Page 188 - ... thus, persons who can resist the ingress of the feebler, fall victims to the more powerful micro-organism. The latter is probably the correct hypothesis; and the evidence already given clearly points to the conclusion that of the external cultural conditions leading to increased virulence of the diphtheria bacillus and greater readiness for assuming a parasitic life, exceptional deficiency of rainfall and consequent exceptional deficiency of moisture in and exceptional warmth of the subsoil form...

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