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TREATMENT OF THE CHOLERA IN…

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TREATMENT OF THE CHOLERA IN PALESTINE. A correspondent of the Times writes thus:- "-Im your paper of the 30th of August one of your recommends, among other precautions against the cattle plague, the mixture of half a pint af prepared* charcoal with the daily allowance of food for each animal. M The same treatment, in a. modified form, may be auTBTstageouslv applied to the human family. I have seea it successfully used in the East as a precaution » the Prevalence of the cholera, or 'Howa el A&tat' (the yellow wind), as it is called in Arabic. ^le year 1855, when that terrible disease was ajtsjag about the Levant, I was living at Haifa, a sea- port town on the southern shore of the Bay of Acre, at the foot of Mount Carmel. This little town, the population of which was about 2,000, had never en- joyed the benefit of a sanitary commission. u guttered streets and nnpaved lanes "were tattle better than open sewers. The dust heaps near to the seashore had been allowed to grow into fao&a, steep, and firm barricades, formed of dead amma.1s, vegetable refuse, and all sorts of filth. j the 23rd of October a new Pasha far Acre •landed at Haifa. At the urgent entreaty of the Con- -sial- his Excellency ordered our little town to be aiaoroughly cleansed and swept. The work was com- menced at once, energetically, but not judiciously. The great dust heaps which had been so long undis- turbed were vigorously attacked, and the task of shovelling them into the sea occupied all the porters Mia boatmen of Haifa. Men and boys ran hither and thither with baskets of putrefying rubbish, and unwil- ling labourers were employed in raking and sweeping the deep and choked-up gutters of the crooked streets. The odours which arose in all directions were al- most unbearable. This attempt at sanitary reform in Haifa was suddenly arrested by the breaking out of oboisrs. 08 the night Jof the 25th of October. Chlo- Jids of lime was thrown over the heaps of corruption and along the disturbed gutters. "All the Europeans, with the exception of my brother (who was then English Vice-Consul at Haifa) artd myself, fled to the spacious convent on Mount ^arnael. Some of them, however, returned after the first shock of fear had passed away. The Moslems quietly smoked their pipes and a- waited their fate with resignation. "The native Christians—Latins, Greeks, and Mel- clites-were panic-stricken, and many of them re- treated to Acre and Nazareth. Those who remained .tZ'ied to propitiate Heaven, and to arrest the plague "a fasting. Relics, seapularies, and handker- eliieis which had touched the Holy Sepulchre were in great request. II The few Jews of Haifa (who, to their praise be it said, are industrious and skilful artificers) wisely whitewashed their houses, and pursued their daily avocations as usual. From the 25th of October to the 19 th of December cholera lingered in Haifa, gradually decreasing in mtensity. A large proportion of cases were success- fully treated. Among the Moslems the disease made the most aavoc, as they could not be persuaded to take pre- Ct. i ons- °lr aTly kind. There was not one case of eliolera in the Jewish quarter. The precautionary measures which appeared to sse to be the most effectual were. recommended by an intelligent native Christian doctor: A teaspoonful of fresh charcoal (made of wheaten bread, burnt in an open crucible), to be taken every morning before breakfast in a small cup of cafe noir-that is, strong aoffee without milk or sugar. "The same doctor advised the frequent fumigation of houses by burning fragrant gums; and, to the horior_of the ecclesiasties, he said it was very im- portant that no fast days should be observed during the prevalence of cholera. "As far as I could ascertain, those who used these measures wiih strictness and confidence generally ftaoaped, or recovered from attacks of the epidemic. An Armenian doctor, attached to the suite of the sjewly-appomted Pasha. of Acre, at my brother's re- Quest, was permitted to spend a short time with us at ille English Vice-Consulate. ."He: treated many cases of cholera successfully, "perhaps partly owing to the courage and confidence with which he inspired his patients. He generally, in the first place, ordered friction, and the outward appli- cation of heat. "He made a sort of smooth creamy paste, composed of equal parts of castor-oil, magnesia, gum arabic, sugar and water, and gave about a tea-spoonful every hour. (In this preparation I could sot perceive the slightest odour or taste of the oil.) The patient, who is generally very thirsty, was allowed to drink as 3Buch lime-flower water as possible, and was en- couraged to partake freely of gruel, made of three parts oatmeal and one part magnesia. Sometimes the doctor found it necessary to administer tincture of opium, in coffee, with a small quantity of pure spirits of wine, to overcome severe pain and prostration. Ae the patient progressed, camomile tea was given instead of lime-flower water. Bark and other stimu- lants with nourishing food of a simple kind could, in a arable case, Be taken on the third or fourth day. The Armenian doctor approved the use of char- coal, and encouraged it aa much as possible. The homes of the poorer classes of Haifa generally consist of one large room only. In these rooms a large OpeD basket containing a store of vegetable charcoal for fuel may always be seen. This accidental circum- fi 1Lce' helped to protect the inmates from wke bad air which surrounded them."

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