In a Bad Way
“Where are you off to in such a hurry?”
“To fetch the doctor for my husband.”
“What’s up with him?”
“He tells me he has got hepatitis, dyspepsia, rheumatism, enteritis, gastritis, appendicitis, nephritis and cerebro spinal meningitis.”
“Holy terrors! Where did he get all that?”
Why a man induced him to buy a medical dictionary, and he’s just been reading it.”
______________________________________________________________ Gee, folks with virulent liver trouble had it made in 1911–only 25 cents for Dr. King’s New Life Pills.
Old-timey MN remarks on a British Lancet article. Anyone with a history hepatitis knows the itch referred to here in 1937.
But, not to worry, there are new remedies in the 1930s for sale:
Catarrhal jaundice is now known as HAV. It is described in reports like this 1901 outbreak in the UK (LINK). But even as late as 1961, researchers thought there were at least two strains of the virus but were still floundering around–as expert W. Paul Havens explains in Viral Hepatitis, Yale J Biol Med. Dec –Feb 1961-2; 34(3-4): 314–328., (LINK).
The Havens article also provides a sense of how a big a problem hepatitis was for the military during WWII. This corresponds with this chart by Google showing the use of the word “hepatitis” in books over time. Yet even in the 1800’s, when books (in English), or physicians, were not as available as they were in the mid-19th century, the topic is one of steady concern
I’m pleased with these finds and know they are just the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of the history of likely hepatitis strains in the U.S. population.