Imatges de pàgina

been a general state of good health in this city, with the exception of the influenza. Foreign newspapers notice the great mortality of the plague; particularly at Cairo, in May. They also mention its prevalence at Constantinople. On the 6th of March, a comet, which took a N. E. course, was seen at Bremen, by Dr. Olbers, near Perseus.

RECENT BRITISH PUBLICATIONS. An Essay towards the improvement of some important Instruments of Surgery, and of the operations in which they are employed, by William Jardine, illustrated by eleven engravings. 8vo.

Treatise on the Discases of Arteries and Veins, &c. by Joseph Hodgson. 8vo.

Engravings to illustrate some of the Diseases of Arteries, by Joseph Hodgsun, 4to.

RECENT AMERICAN PUBLICATIONS. T. Dobson, Philadelphia, has just published, Murray's Ma-teria Medica, with Notes by N. Chapman, M. D. 2 vols. 8vo.

Also, Cullen's Synopsis of Nosology, translated from the Latin, by Dr. Thomson. 1 vol. 12mo.

A Treatise on Surgical Diseases and the Operations suited to them, by Baron Boyer; translated by Alexander H. Stevens, M. D. with Notes and an Appendix, by the translator, 1st vol. 8vo. New York.

A. Finley, Philadelphia, has published the “Engravings of the Muscles and Joints, illustrating the Anatomy of the Human Body; by John Bell, Surgeon,” containing 17 quarto plates, with copious letter press explanations.

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Medical Topography. From the “Natural and Statistical View, or Picture of Cincinnati and the

Miami Country.” BY DANIEL DRAKE. CINCINNATI, 1815. UNDER this head it is proposed to communicate, as fully as possible, such information concerning our diseases, and such notices of the mineral springs within our reach, as a person about to emigrate to the western country would desire.


Section 1. Prevailing Diseases. Of the diseases connected with climate, we have most of those which are common in the same latitudes, east of the Alleghenies. Some of them, however, are less violent and frequent here than there. Of this kind is the pulmonary consumption; which, in the Atlantic cities, destroys from a fourth to a sixth of all who die; while in this town, it produces not more than one-twentieth of the deaths. So favourable, indeed, is this place to those who are threatened with consumption, that a migration to it from the northern states might be advantageously recommended, when this complaint is about commencing, or not very far advanced. The pleurisy and peripneumony occur every winter; but seldom prevail to any great extent. They are generally complicated with bilious affections; which VOL. VI.


No. 22.



renders the treatment difficult, and makes the use of calomel, in most cases, absolutely necessary to a successful issue. The croup is a formidable disease in this place, annually carrying off a number of children. Like the preceding complaints, it is frequently attended with bilious symptoms; and occasionally shows itself in connexion with cholera infantum, forming a very dangerous combination. In general, it does not seem to be a worse malady here than in the east; and I have never seen it of that malignant and epidemic character at Cincinnati, which it exhibited in Virginia in 1799.* Colds and catarrks, swelled tonsils, and other affections of the throat, produced by sudden changes of weather, occur here in the same manner as in the maritime states; but do not appear to be so often followed by consumption. The premature decay of the teeth, pains in the jaw, and tooth ache, frequent in all variable climates, are, it would seem, much less common here, than in some parts of New England; as Dr. Hazletine informs us, that they make about an eighth part of all the diseases incident to the people of the province of Maine. Rheumatism occurs; but is not so frequent and formidable as in the northern states.

Of the diseases ascribed to the exhalations from putrefying animal and vegetable substances, from alluvial ground, and from ponds and marshes, we have perhaps the whole catalogue, with the exception of the yellow fever of the eastern cities. In the country, especially along the water courses, remitting and intermitting fevers, including ague, prevail every autumn; but are seldom malignant, and generally yield to the treatment elsewhere employed, if resorted to at an early period. In Cincinnati, the annual prevalence of these diseases is less certain, and the mild and malignant typhus fevers frequently supply their places. In the years 1809, 1810 and 1811, these complaints were prevalent here, without much intermission; but since that time they have been rare.

The diseases to which immigrants are most liable, are bilious and typhus fevers. This is especially the case with the natives of New England and New York, who in coming here urdergo a change of climate greater than they seem generally to suppose. They should, therefore, endeavour to arrive in the

* See Medical and Physical Journal, vol. ii.

Miami country late in the autumn; and before the ensuing summer, place themselves in the most healthy situations which can be found. Those who intend to reside in the country, should get on upland farms at an early period: those who prefer the town, should choose the eastern and northern portions, which are more exempt from noxious effluvia; and, in the heat of summer and early autumn, expose themselves as little as possible, either to the evening air, or the noon day sun. With these precautions, and a strict regard to the prevention of what is denominated a bilious habit, very few will suffer an attack; but without such attention, a seasoning, as it is termed, will most likely be experienced the first summer after an arrival from the north. In the second, whether the first be sickly or not, there is but little danger.

Next to our fevers, are the different complaints of the stomach and bowels. These prevail chiefly in the summer, as in other parts of the United States, and precede the fevers which have been enumerated. The cholera infantum is commonly the first which occurs, and sets in with the earliest intense heat. Its greatest prevalence is in June and July, when it frequently proves fatal, particularly in town. It sometimes destroys life in a few days; at other times the unfortunate little sufferer pines for several weeks, when he eitheir dies, or is restored by the frosts of autumn. In the country this disease is less frequent, and so mild as not often to prove fatal. The cholera morbus occasionally presents itself, at the seasons in which it is more or less prevalent over all the states. A few cases of dysentery occur every summer; and once in two or three years, it is epidemic. When this is the case, its prevalence is sometimes very general, but not often mortal. Now and then it assumes a malignant character; when it is, for the most part, confined to a single family. Upon the whole, this disease appears to be less formidable in this country, than in the Atlantic states. On the head waters of the Great Miami, and in some of the adjoining parts of Kentucky, a disease called by the people the sickstomach, has prevailed more or less for several years. Its prominent symptoms are, a vomiting upon taking exercise, with chronic debility, lassitude and soreness of the extremities. Sometimes it continues for months, in the same individual; and frequently affects whole families. It is supposed to extend to horses, cows, sheep and dogs, varying in several of its symptoms. It does not often prove fatal; and the people, where it is endemic, seem to have learned by experience an efficacious method of treatment. It has been ascribed to some noxious impregnation of the water; to the use, by the animals whose milk and flesh are eaten, of some deleterious plant, and to marsh exhalation--the last of which is the most plausible. For two or three years past, its occurrence has been more infrequent, and it cannot be regarded as constituting any serious objection to the districts in which it prevails. The jaundice is a pretty common disease in this country; but it seldom destroys life. Inflammation of the liver is met with occasionally, but not oftener than in the same latitudes of the maritime states. Sore eyes (ophthalmia) is a disease which now and then becomes epidemic over the whole of this country. It prevails most in the same situations where the ague, and other forms of bilious fever abound; and has therefore been referred to the same cause. It does not arise from heat or dust, as it occurs oftenest in shady vallies; nor from the smoke of autumn, as it precedes that phenomenon. It is less frequent than formerly, and will perhaps cease with those diseases which are acknowledged to depend on marsh exhalation. The periodical head-ach is a disorder which in this country is ascribed to the same cause, and can be cured in the same manner as ague and fever.

Of the diseases termed epidemic, the most frequent in the Miami country are the measles and hooping cough, both of which have prevailed in Cincinnati every year or two, since 1800. They seldom affect a great number at once, but make their attacks -successively for many months, and do not often

rminate fatally. The mumps now and then occur, with no unusual symptoms. The small pox has not prevailed here to any extent for a dozen years. There is no institution for preserving and disseminating the vaccine virus; but a great number are annually vaccinated. The scarlet fever and putrid sore throat have been of rare occurrence. About the year 1792, they were prevalent in all the infant settlements of the west, and produced many deaths. From that time till 1809, but few cases were observed at Cincinnati. In this and the two subsequent years, they appeared in an epidemic form, and destroyed a number of children. Since that period, but few cases have

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