Some Epidemic Conditions.


During the past year of my practice I have come across some prevailing disorders, which might be called simply epidemics, but which present peculiar characteristics. As regards the therapeutics of these I find I have much to learn. Last August there was an epidemic of diarrhea among children in this town, in which emaciation was always present. last winter there was an epidemic of sore throat, I called it pharyngitis; almost everybody had it, young and old. This has lingered until now, for occasionally I meet a case. Sometimes the tonsils became involved and the case became a serious one. Following this there was an epidemic of sore eyes, that. was early in the spring, and I called it catarrhal conjunctivitis. Last month there was what the people called cholera morbus. Just now there prevails a condition like the following: The patients came to me complaining of heaviness, uneasiness and sometimes pain in the gastric region; sometimes they complain of vomiting, especially in children. Sometimes they complain of having had diarrhea on the day before or even last week. The tongue is not the same in appearance. Early during this epidemic (which, by the way the people ascribed to eating "new potatoes") I found the same symptoms accompanying three or four malaria cases. This gave me the hint and after that all cases got quinine with some secondary remedies to meet indications, rhus tox, muriatic acid, sodium bicarb., bismuth, etc.

I have always noticed that such epidemics come along with a positive change in the weather. If any one can give me some information on these disorders I will appreciate it.

P. S. I should state that now I have under my care two typhoid fever cases, six and seven years old, respectively, boys, in which vomiting was a prominent symptom at the beginning.

COMMENT: The above experiences of the young doctor prove the experiences of every doctor, that groups of symptoms are constantly occurring, to which definite name can be given, which do not present the characteristics of any typical form of disease. If the physician is thoroughly learned in the action of his remedies, he will not be at all confused by this fact, as it is conditions he is familiar with, and conditions it is, to which he will adjust his remedy, and not distinct diseases as a whole. When he understands the adjustment of the remedy, he will intuitively select that agent which will at once correct the existing condition or conditions. It will make no difference whether he has ever seen the conditions under those circumstances or not. This is the superior result obtained from the thorough understanding of our specific method of drug application.

Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.