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Proofs of the Bulam Fever attacking the Human Frame only
once. By W. Prm, M. D. Inspector of Hospitals.
[From the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, for April, 1816.]
In my observations upon Bulam Fever, page 122, I have mentioned that all the officers and men quartered in Gibral. tar during the prevalence of the fever in 1809, who had had it at a former period in the West Indies, escaped it.
Add, at page 27, that, out of the whole civil population of the garrison (amounting to nearly 14,000), only 28 persons escaped an attack of it; and of this small number 12 had had it at a former period, either in America, in Spain, or in the West Indies.
At Gibraltar, during the prevalence of the disease, in the years 1810, 1813, and 1814, there was no well-authenticated instance of a second attack; every person escaped it who had had it at any former period. And this fact is now so well established there, that, among the quarantine regulations against the introduction of the disease this year (1815), all the troops who have not passed the disease are encamped, while those who have passed it are doing the duty of the town.
At Cadiz, Carthagena, and Malaga, the fact of persons not being liable to a second attack of this disease is considered to be as firmly established as it is in small-pox.
The following circumstantial evidence respecting the malady at Gibraltar in 1804, establishes the fact beyond a doubt. In the corps of Royal Artillery, there were only two officers who escaped an attack of it, viz. General Smith and Captain Campbell, both of whom had had it some time before in the West Indies.
In the corps of Royal Engineers, there was only one offi. cer, viz. Captain Thackery, who had had it in the West In. dies; and he was the only one who escaped it, excepting Colonel Fyers, who kept himself and family in quarantine.
In the 2d, or Queen's Regiment, there were five officers,
víz. Colonel Jones, Major Kingsbury, Captain Walsh, Paymaster Wainwright, and Assistant-Surgeon Borlase, who had had it in the West Indies, and all escaped it, when every other officer in the regiment was attacked by it.
In the 10th Regiment, every officer was attacked by it, excepting Captain Carpenter, who had had it in the West Indies.
In the 13th Regiment, there were seven officers, viz. Lieutenant-Colonels the Honourable C. Colville, Dance, Scott, Major Belford, Captain Wilkinson, Quarter-Master Murray, and the Adjutant, who had had it in the West Indies, and all escaped it at Gibraltar, when every other officer in the regiment was attacked by it.
This same regiment, with five of the above named West India officers, and ten who had had it at Gibraltar, embarked for the West Indies in 1808, where they all escaped the disease, although eight of the newly appointed officers fell victims to it.
In the 54th Regiment, all the officers were attacked by it, excepting Colonel Derby, Captain Lowis, and Surgeon V. Dwyre, who had had it in the West Indies.
This regiment, in 1808, returned to the West Indies from Europe, filled up with new officers and men; and, after being 18 months in Jamaica, was attacked by and suffered severely from this disease, when all those who had had it at Gibraltar escaped it. Vide my Observations upon Bulam Fever, Mr. Redmond's letter, page 73.
In the corps of Royal Barrack Artificers, every officer and man was attacked by the disease, excepting Sergeant Jones, who had had it in the West Indies.
In the regiment of Rolle, there was only one officer, viz. Lieutenant Muller, who had had it in the West Indies, and he was the only officer in the corps who escaped it.
The medical men at Gibraltar, during the first ten weeks of the disease, were 24 in number. Six of them had had it in the West Indies, and all escaped; the remaining 18 were attacked by it, of which number seven fell victims to it.
One more proof of the Bulam fever not attacking a second
time, was in the 70th Regiment, which suffered severely from the disease in the West Indies, in the year 1794. This regiment returned to that climate from Europe in the year 1800, filled up with new officers, with the exception of six, viz. Colonel Dunbar, Major Elliott, Captains Johnstone, Lawrence, Hutchinson, and Boat, who had had the fever at a former period, and who now escaped it, although the corps buried ten of the newly appointed officers in a very short time.
The 55th Regiment, quartered at St. Lucia, in the year 1796, was nearly annihilated by yellow-fever, when the skeleton of the regiment returned to England. There it was filled up with new officers and men; and, after being six years in Europe, arrived in Jamaica in the year 1802, where it again suffered severely from the same disease, having buried 21 officers. The surgeon of the regiment, Mr. Macmillan (now sur. geon to the forces), says, it is worthy of remark, that every individual in the corps was attacked by this fever, excepting himself and ten of the officers, who had had it in the year 1796.
Upon a moderate computation, there were 150 officers at Gibraltar who had not had the disease before, and 25 who had passed it in the West Indies; and, making allowance for one or two doubtful cases, where the disease was so mild as not to confine the patient to bed, 145 at least out of the 150 were attacked by it, while every individual of the 25 who had had it before, escaped it;--proof positive that the Gibraltar, West India, or Bulam fever, are the same disease, and that the human frame is not liable to be attacked by it a second time, even after a lapse of ten years.
The 13th and 54th Regiments are proofs that persons who had it in Gibraltar are not liable to it in the West Indies. I have given numerous proofs that persons who had it in the West Indies were not liable to it at Gibraltar. And the 13th, 55th, and 70th Regiments, prove that persons who had it in the West Indies are not liable to a second attack upon their return to that country, afte having been several years in Europe.
I am truly surprised that its peculiarity of attacking the human frame but once, has not been sooner known; and now, that it is mentioned, that it has not excited greater attention. Lining mentions it particularly, in the Edinburgh Medical Essays, 50 years ago. In Sauvages' last editions, about 1768, it is positively mentioned. The English have long known the fact under the name of seasoning, and the French of tribut, climaté, or une idiosyncrasie réfractaire à la contagion. Monsieur Berthe, in mentioning the disease at Cadiz, says, “Le petit nombre de ces individus ainsi privilégiés a été observé parmi ceux qui avaient habité les Antilles.” The emigrants from St. Domingo were proof against the contagion of Philadelphia in 1793—4. But vaccination was long known in Gloucestershire to the dairy-men before Dr. Jenner's discovery; and, with respect to my discovery in the yellow-fever, I cannot give it up to the Spanish practitioners. I made the discovery that the West Indians were proof against it on the 20th October, 1804, or rather the 19th, for that was the day that I requested Sir Thomas Trigge (governor) to order the men who had been in the West Indies to be paraded.
The first Spanish physician that mentioned it was Arejula, and he did not publish until 1806. Sir J. Fellowes gives the credit of it to the Spanish physicians generally. No individual one has claimed it. It certainly was not known among them in 1803; nor do I believe it was ascertained in 1804, until after the time that I discovered the non-liability of the West Indians, when I requested my friends in Gibraltar to write to Malaga and Cadiz, where inquiry was made, and the fact proved.
London, 6th January, 1816.
Case of Artificial Pupil. By Mr. MOORE, Surgeon, Belfast, [From the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, for April, 1816.]
HUGH QUIN, a labouring man, aged about 48, applied to me in April last. When a boy, he lost the sight of the left eye by an accident. In September, 1814, he struck the sound eye against the end of a stick, and ruptured the sclerotic coat above the cornea, to the extent of half an inch, in nearly a semi-circular direction, with the concave part towards the cor nea. A portion of the vitreous humour protruded, supported by its capsule and the flap made by the wound, and formed a tumour about half the size of a common bean. The very much inflamed; there was a considerable discharge of eye was matter like pus and mucus mixed; and severe pain in the temples and forehead, occasionally shooting to the vertex. The pupil was closed in consequence of the continued inflamma tion, which had now lasted eight months, and the iris had that rugose appearance we often see in closed pupil, and was drawn upwards by its attachment to the ciliary ligament, which liga ́ment was drawn upwards by the protrusion of part of the vitreous humour. He could just discern light from darkness, at the clear light of a window or door.
On examining the eye, the following indications obviously presented themselves: 1st, To abate the inflammation in the eye, and relieve the pain in the forehead and temples. 2d, To remove or lessen the size of the tumour, as the friction of the upper eye-lid on it caused a considerable degree of irritation. 3d, To procure admission for light into the eye by an operation.
In order to fulfil the first, two grains of submurias hydrargyri were given at bed-time, and a drachm of pulv. jalap. comp. next morning. These were repeated twice a-week; and a solution of acetate of lead was very frequently applied to the eye by means of linen rags dipped in a large basinful of it. By continuing this plan a fortnight the inflammation was