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Period Of Incubation Or Hatching
Category: DESCRIPTION OF SCARLET-FEVER.
Source: Hydriatic Treatment Of Scarlet Fever In Its Different Forms
The time which passes between the reception of the contagious poison
into the system and the appearance of the rash, is called the period of
incubation; incubation or incubus meaning, properly, the sitting of
birds on their nests, and figuratively, the hatching or concoction of
the poison within the body, until prepared for its elimination. There is
no certainty about the time necessary for that purpose, as the
contagion, after the patient has come in contact with it, may be
lurking a longer or a shorter time about his person, or in his clothes
As in almost all eruptive fevers, so in scarlatina, the patient begins
with complaining of shivering, pain in the thighs, lassitude, and
rapidly augmenting debility; frequently also of headache, which, when
severe, is accompanied with delirium, nausea and vomiting. The fever
soon becomes very high, the pulse increasing to upwards of 120 to 130
strokes in a minute, and more; the heat is extreme, raising the natural
temperature of the body from 98 to 110-112 degrees Fahrenheit, being
intenser internally than on the surface of the body. The patient
complains of severe pain in the throat, the organs of deglutition
located there becoming inflamed, and swelling to such a degree that
swallowing is extremely difficult, and even breathing is impeded. The
tongue is covered with a white creamy coat, through which the points of
the elongated papillae project. Gradually the white coat disappears,
commencing at the end and the edges of the organ, and leaves the same in
a clean, raw, inflamed state, looking much like a huge strawberry. This
is called the _strawberry tongue_ of scarlet-fever, and is one of the
characteristic symptoms of that disease. There is a peculiar smell about
the person of the patient, reminding one of salt fish, old cheese, or
the cages of a menagerie.
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