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Letters on the Cholera Morbus   By: (1773-1846)

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Transcriber's Note

This text does not refer to epidemic cholera. The term "cholera morbus" was used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to describe both non epidemic cholera and gastrointestinal diseases that mimicked cholera. The term "cholera morbus" is found in older references but is not in current scientific use. The condition "cholera morbus" is now referred to as "acute gastroenteritis."

Spelling variations and inconsistencies have been retained to match the original text. Only such cases which strongly indicated the presence of inadvertent typographical error have been corrected; a detailed list of these corrections can be found at the end of this text.

This ebook consists of two separate parts. The first from 1831 ("LETTERS ON THE CHOLERA MORBUS.") contains Letters I X; and the second from 1832 ("LETTERS ON THE CHOLERA MORBUS, &c. &c. &c.") contains Letters I III and a Postscript. Transcriber's Notes at the end of the text refer to "Pt 1" and "Pt 2" for ease of navigation.

LETTERS

ON THE

CHOLERA MORBUS.

CONTAINING

AMPLE EVIDENCE THAT THIS DISEASE, UNDER WHATEVER NAME KNOWN, CANNOT BE TRANSMITTED FROM THE PERSONS OF THOSE LABOURING UNDER IT TO OTHER INDIVIDUALS, BY CONTACT THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF INANIMATE SUBSTANCES OR THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF THE ATMOSPHERE; AND THAT ALL RESTRICTIONS, BY CORDONS AND QUARANTINE REGULATIONS, ARE, AS FAR AS REGARDS THIS DISEASE, NOT MERELY USELESS, BUT HIGHLY INJURIOUS TO THE COMMUNITY.

By a Professional Man of Thirty Years experience, in various parts of the World.

LONDON:

NICHOLS AND SONS, PRINTERS, EARL'S COURT, CRANBOURN STREET LEICESTER SQUARE.

1831.

The first series of these Letters, consisting of five, appeared in the months of September and October of the present year; five others, written in a more popular form, were inserted in a Newspaper from time to time, in the course of this month: a few additions and alterations, preparatory to their appearance in the shape of a pamphlet, have been made.

If, at a moment like the present, they prove in any manner useful to the public, the writer will feel great satisfaction.

November 26th, 1831.

LETTERS ON THE CHOLERA MORBUS;

SHEWING THAT IT IS

NOT A COMMUNICABLE DISEASE.

LETTER I.

If we view the progress of this terrific malady, as it tends to disorganise society wherever it shows itself, as it causes the destruction of human life on an extensive scale, or as it cramps commerce, and causes vast expense in the maintenance of quarantine and cordon establishments, no subject can surely be, at this moment, of deeper interest. It is to be regretted, indeed, that, in this country, political questions (of great magnitude certainly), should have prevented the legislature, and society at large, from examining, with due severity, all the data connected with cholera, in order to avert, should we unhappily be afflicted with an epidemic visitation of this disease, that state of confusion, bordering on anarchy, which we find has occurred in some of those countries where it has this year appeared.

Were this letter intended for the eyes of medical men only, it would be unnecessary to say that, during epidemics, the safety of thousands rests upon the solution of these simple questions: Is the disease communicable to a healthy person, from the body of another person labouring under it, either directly , by touching him, or indirectly , by touching any substance (as clothes, &c.) which might have been in contact with him, or by inhaling the air about his person, either during his illness or after death? Or is it, on the other hand, a disease with the appearance and progress of which sick persons, individually or collectively, have no influence, the sole cause of its presence depending on unknown states of the atmosphere, or on terrestrial emanations, or on a principle, aura , or whatever else it may be called, elicited under certain circumstances, from both the earth and air? In the one case we have what the French, very generally I believe, term mediate and immediate contagion, while the term infection would seem to be reserved by some of the most distinguished of their physicians for the production of diseases by a deteriorated atmosphere: much confusion would certainly be avoided by this adoption of terms... Continue reading book >>




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