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Prevalent maladies – 1824

The Doctor - 1891 Luke Fildes (1843–1927)  Wikimedia Commons

The Doctor – 1891
Luke Fildes (1843–1927)
Wikimedia Commons

THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL 2ND DECEMBER, 1824
The most prevalent maladies in this town (Galway) and neighbourhood for the last year, are stated from the following Report of Dr. O’MALEY, whose practical intercourse with them through the medium of the Dispensary, affords him an unlimited facility of offering the most correct observations:
Fever has been on the decline; however, many cases have occurred sporadicaly, of the intermediate type, termed Synochus; the remainder mild Typhus, with a few instances of the malignant variety. Pneumonia, (inflammation of the lungs and its coverings,) has occasionally existed; Cattarh, with Pleuralgia, (pain of breast, &c.) being exceedingly frequent. A few cases of Pneumonia Typhoides (inflamed lungs with Typhus fever) have also taken place during the autumn.
Inflammatory sore throat often presents itself, owing to the vicissitudes of our atmosphere; and Hepatitis (liver complaint) is a frequent assailant from the same cause, aerial inclemency, and another powerful agent, immoderate spirituous potation.
That Morbid Proteus Rheumatism, acute or chronic, doth constantly uphold a relentless sway, and concentrates, in many individuals, the keenest pangs of enfeebled humanity. Dispepsia (indigestion) and Corrdialgia (spasmodic pain of stomach) in its different varieties, have been, and must be, incessantly frequent in occurrence, until the scanty food of our squalid poor be succeeded by a more generous and abundant measure. Of all diseases which engage the attention of Nosologists, Dysentery & Diarhoea have for the last months stalked with relentless gripe through these wretched domiciles of incomprehensible misery, the hovels of the poor.

Healing the sick, fresco by Domenico di Bartolo. (1400-1447) Sala del Pellegrinaio (hall of the pilgrim), Hospital Santa Maria della Scala,Siena Wikimedia Commons

Healing the sick, fresco by Domenico di Bartolo. (1400-1447) Sala del Pellegrinaio (hall of the pilgrim), Hospital Santa Maria della Scala,Siena
Wikimedia Commons

These diseases, so different in their nature, have been principally excited by the same causes, namely, no wholesome diet, and deficiency of warm vesture; dysentery indubitably becoming contagious among them, from the limited extent and offensive uncleanliness of their dwellings. This circumstance is worthy of remark, as the Dysentery of these latitudes is seldom contagious, unless under the conditions already mentioned, or when concomitant with epidemic Typhoid affections.- Colic is a malady that next in order rears is stand and among the indigent; frequent cold and wet and indigestible esculents act as its occasional causes. In many instances it has yielded its grasp in the last mentioned genus Dysentery, and in a few has been the precursor of a more certain harbinger of death, Enteritis (inflammation of the bowels.)

The Cholera of our climate, though comparatively imbecile to that of the southern part of the Asiatic region, is a formidable malady, that has occasionally occurred during the estival and autumnal seasons, but in an immediate and decisive practice has invariably yielded.

Hoemophilis (spitting blood) often appears here, but when unconnected with any other affection, is seldom fatal. It, or inflamed lungs, sometimes is a variety of consumption named Inposthumutous, Phthisis, which, with another variety (Tubercular) have occurred here within the last year much less frequently than could be expected from the vicissitudes of atmospheric temperature. It has been computed that in England this disease carries off one-fourth of the population, in Paris, one-fifth, in Vienna, one-sixth, while in Russia it is by no means common, and in tropical climates still less so, from the greater uniformity of their atmosphere, either frigid or torrid. Asthma also constantly presents itself, and unless when produced from malformation, is generally a senile disease, sometimes closing its career with the induction of others.
Dropsy is one of frequent occurrence among the lower class, because it is for the most part a disease of debility. We usually find that it has been preceded by some species of fever, and in other instances it is nurtured by an abuse of ardent spirits, inanition, hard labour and a long exposure to wet and cold. These sap the body and induce affections of the stomach, particularly the liver, weakening the digestive organs becoming frail and instituting in various ways the complaint in question.

Another opportunity shall be taken to illustrate the most prevalent diseases of females and children.

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