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Period Of Incubation Or Hatching

Sources: 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

n, 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

and furniture.

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.