Monday, October 24, 2016

Chicken Pox

From the family medial guide:©1871 a description and treatment for the disease.

This is another eruptive fever, which is also infectious, but of a very mild character. Like the last-mentioned fevers, it attacks persons once only during life, and is a disease of youth.

The premonitory symptoms are very slight, the eruption being preceded by little fever or derangement of the general health. Children may be less disposed to play than usual, but their appetite is scarcely impaired, nor do they complain of pain or suffering; while youths at school or public offices are first made aware of something being amiss with the constitution, by a crop of small pustules appearing on the shoulders and chest.

This eruption is sometimes mistaken for modified small-pox, with which it has no affinity; nor does the one give any protection against an attack of the other. The preference of locality in each is also well marked.
Small-pox commences on the forehead and the face, which it farrows badly.

Chicken-pox, on the contrary, spares the face, and begins on the shoulder and chest; but it appears abundantly on the hairy scalp. It affects also the mucous membrane of the mouth, causing pustules on the palate and throat.

The vesicles formed by this disease do not suppurate, as in smallpox. They soon dry up, and in about a week exfoliation takes place, and the eruption goes off without leaving any trace of its former presence.

The most distinctive test is, however, obtained by inoculation. The fluid taken from the vesicle of modified small-pox readily communicates the disease to another person inoculated with it; but chicken-pox cannot be propagated in this way.

Treatment.—This disease requires little medicine. The general rule of confinement to bed in fever cannot be dispensed with; nor should we neglect to unload the liver and bowels. A youth should get half a grain of podophylline and ten grains of Epsom salts, in syrup, at night, the bowels being regulated afterwards by two grains of aloes and ten of Epsom salts, taken at night, as required. Half of these doses would be sufficient for a child of six years.

The food should be rice, arrowroot, or maizena, boiled in water and made palatable with milk; and the drink should be toast-, barley-, or rice-water, with ten grains of cream of tartar given in each drink.

After the fourth day chicken broth or beef- or mutton-tea, with stale bread, may be given once a day for children; but while confined to bed, children do not require animal food in any form, and solid animal food is injurious, until they can take exercise with it.

In this and every other cutaneous disease exposure to cold or chills should be avoided, and sufficient clothing ought to be worn for some time after recovery.

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