Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Diseases of 1865

A previous blog entry discussed some diseases we don’t hear about today. Some of them have thankfully been eradicated by modern medicine; others have been renamed.
Consumption was prevalent in America in the mid-1800’s. Also known as Phthisis, today we refer to it as tuberculosis.
On July 10th of 1865, Emily Conklin died of Consumption in Scipio. A native of Onondaga County, Emily was 24 years old and married. It was not until 1882 that the bacillus that caused tuberculosis was identified. Immunizations began in 1921 and gained acceptance in the 1940’s.
Ever hear of Dropsy? Elizabeth Van Liew died of it on June 27, 1865. Today, we would say she had edema due to congestive heart failure. I can’t read her age on the copy of the vital records so perhaps an alert blog reader has some Van Liew family tree information that would tell us how old Elizabeth was when she died? Calling all relatives!
Patrick Meullally was only 3 when he died on January 20th, 1865. He was diagnosed with an inflammation of the stomach. Today usually referred to as gastritis, this can be caused by an infection, an acute injury or burn, or can be a symptom of stomach cancer or other serious disease.
Sadly, another child only two years old died on October 27th of that year. Ada E. Sharp’s cause of death was given as Infantile Fever. Most likely, this was Typhoid Fever.

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