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Yellow Fever

Source: An Epitome Of Homeopathic Healing Art

[As I have never practiced farther South than Cincinnati, and have seen
but few cases of this disease, my experience with it has not been
sufficient to be relied upon as authority. Therefore, I shall give a
brief description of the disease, with the proper and _successful
treatment_, furnished me by A. H. BURRETT, M. D., of New Orleans, who is
not only a Physician of more than ordinary learning and skill in his
profession generally, but is one who has spent his time in New Orleans
among the sick of Yellow Fever, through three of the most fatal
epidemics that ever scourged any city. He is a man for the times, a man
of resources, who draws useful lessons from experience and observation.
Hence he has been able to select such remedies as have enabled him to
cope most successfully with the pestilence, saving nearly all his
patients, while, under other treatment, a majority have died. I
therefore, attach great value to his treatment, and recommend its
adoption with the most implicit confidence.]

* * * * *

When this Fever prevails as an epidemic, as it usually does, in the
southern part of the United States, it is a disease of the most
malignant character. The proportion of _fatal_ cases under the
Allopathic course of treatment, has been equal to, and, in some places,
as in New Orleans, and some Towns in Virginia, has exceeded that of
_Asiatic_ Cholera. It is almost entirely confined to Southern regions,
and only prevails in hot weather, after the continuance of extreme heat
for some weeks.

It usually begins with premonitory symptoms somewhat like those of
ordinary fever, but with this difference: the patient, instead of losing
his appetite, has often a morbidly increased desire for food. He
complains of severe pains in the back, and more or less headache. Both
the head and backache are of a peculiar character: the pains resembling
rheumatic pains, the head feeling full and too large, the eyes early
turn red, almost bloodshot and watery, a chill comes on, which may be
distinct and quite severe, lasting for an hour or more, or, it may be
slight, and hardly perceptible. The chill is followed by high fever, the
pain in the head and back increasing, the eyes becoming more red and
suffused, the forehead and face extremely red and hot, and the heat of
the whole surface very great, the carotids beat violently, the pulse
very frequent, and usually, at first, full and strong, though sometimes
it is feeble from the beginning. However the pulse may be in the
beginning, it very soon becomes small, but continues to be frequent. The
tongue is at first covered with a white paste-like coating, which
afterwards gives place to redness of the edges and tip, with a dark or
yellow streak in the center. The stomach is very irritable, rejecting
every kind of food, and all drinks, except, perhaps, a few drops of ice
water. There is a peculiar distressed feeling in the stomach, often a
burning sensation, so that, if suffered to do so, he would take large
quantities of ice or water. One remarkable feature of the cases noticed
in the epidemic, as it existed in New Orleans the past season, was, that
the patients had a great desire for food, notwithstanding the nausea and
distress at the stomach.

Sooner or later, varying from a few hours to several days, in the
ordinary course of the disease, the fever subsides. From this time the
patient may recover without any further symptoms, but this is, by no
means, the usual result. If the subsidence of the fever is accompanied
by natural pulse, a free, but not profuse or prostrating perspiration,
a genial warmth of the surface, natural appearance of the countenance,
eyes, and tongue, with little or no soreness on pressure over the
stomach, we may safely look for a speedy recovery. But if, on the
contrary, the eyes, face, and tongue, become yellow, or orange-colored,
the epigastrium is tender to pressure, the urine has a yellow tinge, the
pulse becomes unnaturally slow, with the least degree of mental stupor,
we have reason to know, full well, that the lull of the fever is only
the calm preceding a more destructive storm. The fever has subsided,
only because exhausted nature could re-act no longer. It may be in a few
hours, or not until twelve or twenty-four have elapsed, the pulse
becomes quickened, even to the frequency of 120 to 140 in a minute, but
very feeble, the extremities of the fingers and toes turn purple or
dark, the tongue becomes brown and dry, or is clean, red, and cracked,
sordes may be on the teeth, the stomach become more irritable, nausea
and vomiting are extreme, the substances vomited being, at first,
reddish, afterwards watery, containing floculae, like soot, or coffee
grounds; the breath becomes foul, and the whole surface emits a
sickening odor. The pulse becomes very small, though the carotid and
temporal arteries beat violently. The urine fails to be secreted, and
later, blood is discharged from the mucous surfaces, involuntary
discharges from the bowels, clammy sweats; and death follows.

The disease runs its course in from three to seven days, sometimes
proves fatal in less than a day, and at others, assumes a typhoid form,
and runs for weeks. Occasionally it sets in without any of the
premonitory symptoms, the chill being first, the fever following,
succeeded immediately by the black vomit, going through all the stages
in a single day, or two days.

Again, it sometimes begins with the black vomit, the patient being
immediately prostrated. In all cases, however it may begin, the peculiar
head-ache and back-ache as described in the beginning, as well as the
extreme heat of the head and face, redness of the eyes, the gnawing
sensation at the stomach, and peculiar nausea are present. These seem to
be characteristic symptoms that mark the Yellow Fever, and those which
should guide in the search for the proper remedies.


The remedies that proved successful in arresting the disease during the
early or forming stage, before the chill or fever had set in, while the
symptoms were pain, fullness, and throbbing of the head, with more or
less dizziness, rheumatic pains in the back, and redness of the eyes,
were _Aconite_ and _Bell._, at low attenuations, once in two to four
hours, according to the violence of the symptoms. For the fullness of
the head, pressing outwards, as though it would split, with pains of a
rheumatic character, _Macrotin_ 1st, given in one grain doses, every
hour or two hours, proved specific.

These three remedies, _Aconite, Bell._ and _Macrotin_,
would, in nearly all cases, arrest the disease in the forming stage, so
that no chill or fever would occur, or, if fever did come on after this
treatment, it was mild.

When the fever sets in, and the pain in the head and back increases, the
eyes, forehead and face are extremely red, or purple and hot, the pulse
frequent and full, the tongue coated white, _Aconite_, _Belladonna_ and
_Macrotin_ are still to be relied upon, but they should be given every
half hour, in rotation, at low attenuations. If the tongue is red, in
the early stage, use _Bryonia_ in place of the _Belladonna_. In a later
stage, when sickness or distress at the stomach had become prominent,
with the quick pulse, and hot skin, _Ipecac_ and _Aconite_, both at the
1st attenuation, a dose given every half hour alternately, generally
arrested the symptoms, and brought on perspiration of a healthful
character, followed by subsidence of the fever and convalescence. Sponge
baths, with half an ounce of _Tr. Ipecac_ in two quarts of tepid water,
applied to the whole surface freely, under the bed clothes, so as not to
expose him to the air, contributed much towards bringing on perspiration
and subduing the fever, as well as allaying the nausea.

When called to patients in the stage of _Black Vomit_, whether that came
on as an early symptom, or at a later stage, _Nit. acid_, _Veratrum
virid._ and _Baptisia_, all at the first dilution, were administered
every hour, in rotation, with great success, the symptoms yielding in a
few hours. For the great oppression, as of a load, in the stomach,
without vomiting, _Nux_ was found sufficient. In the later stage, when
there seemed to be no secretion of urine, _Canabis_ and _Apis mel._,
gave relief.

The remedies most successful for the cases that assumed a typhoid
character, with dry, cracked tongue, sordes on the teeth, and low
sluggish pulse, were _Baptisia_ and _Bryonia_, given every two hours,
alternately. _Nitric acid_ given internally and injected into the
rectum, when bloody discharges appear, is generally quite successful.

Good nursing is of the utmost importance, and the patient should be
visited frequently by his Physician, as great changes may occur in a
short time. Three times a day is none too often to see the patient. As
soon as the fever comes on, the patient should be stripped of his
clothes, and dressed in such garments as he is to wear in bed through
the attack. He should be put to bed and lightly covered, but have
sufficient to protect him from any sudden changes in the atmosphere, and
the room should be well ventillated all the time. The baths should
always be applied under the bed clothes.

The diet should be very spare and light, after the fever subsides, and
while the fever exists no food should be taken. Thin gruel, in
teaspoonful doses, once in half an hour, is best. After a day or two,
the juice of beef steak may be given in small quantities but give none
of the meat. No "hearty food" should be allowed for eight or ten days
after recovery. A relapse is most surely fatal.

As _Prophylactics_ (_preventives_) of the fever, _Macrotin_, _Bell._ and
_Aconite_ should be taken, a dose every eight to twelve hours, by every
one that is exposed. These will, no doubt, often prevent an attack, and
if they do not, they will so modify it, that it will be very mild, of
short duration, and very easily arrested.

Pregnant females, and young children were sure to die if attacked, when
treated by the Allopathic medication; but, by the use of these remedies
as _preventives_, their attacks were rendered so mild as to be amenable
to remedies, and all recovered.

Next: Pleurisy

Previous: Scarlet Fever

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