Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: cholera

  • Book review: Foreign Bodies: Pandemics, Vaccines and the Health of Nations

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover of Foreign Bodies: Pandemics, Vaccines and the Health of Nations by Simon Schama Simon Schama, the eminent historian and broadcaster, has turned his attention to medical history. His new book, gestated and born during the COVID pandemic, is a chronicle of three pandemic diseases that have afflicted…

  • William Budd and typhoid fever

    William Budd. From lithograph published by A.B. Black, 1862. Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. In the year 1811 when William Budd was born, medicine was still in its dark ages. Physicians dressed in black and wore top hats, surgeons operated in street clothes without anesthesia, and infectious diseases such as typhoid and cholera were thought…

  • Clausewitz’s death: Cholera and melancholy

    Nicolas Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   Carl von Clausewitz. Via Wikimedia. “Sollte mich ein früher Tod in dieser Arbeit unterbrechen” (“If an early death should terminate my work”) — Carl von Clausewitz, Vom Kriege   Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz (1780–1831) was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the psychological and political aspects…

  • Picasso and medicine: From early paintings to a syndrome

    Michael Yafi Houston, Texas, United States   Pablo Picasso in 1962. Photo via Wikimedia. Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881–1973) was known for his love of the good life. Reportedly, his last words were “Drink to me!” But early in his life, Picasso witnessed sick and dying friends and relatives in his hometown of Malaga, Spain, and…

  • Koch’s postulates revisited

    JMS Pearce Hull, England   Van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1722), a Dutch botanist, using his early microscope observed single-celled bacteria, which he reported to the Royal Society as animalcules. The science of bacteriology owes its origin to two scientists of coruscating originality, Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch. Pasteur may be described as master-architect and Koch as master-builder…

  • John Bostock and hay fever

    JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Bostock’s paper to Medico-Chirurgical Transactions of London, 1819. Before the 1800s, hay fever, now estimated as affecting 5–10% of Western populations, was not widely recognized by physicians. James MacCulloch MD FRS, a doctor and geologist, in 1828 was the first to use the term hay fever, which he…

  • Robert Koch, M.D., and the cure for sleeping sickness: ethics versus economics

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden Primum non nocere. (First, do no harm.)— Hippocrates Robert Koch, M.D., (1843–1910) started his career as a country doctor and discovered the causes of tuberculosis, anthrax, and cholera. He is considered to be, along with Louis Pasteur, the founder of the field of bacteriology. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology…

  • The Great War and the other war

    Maryline Alhajj Beirut, Lebanon   Starving man and children in Mount Lebanon. 1915–1918. Unknown photographer. Via Wikimedia. Public domain due to age.   The reverberations of October 29, 1914 would carry throughout the lands of the Ottoman Empire and serve as an ominous premonition of disastrous years to come. On that day, following a surprise…

  • Epidemic cholera and Joseph William Bazalgette

    JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom     Fig 1. Joseph Bazalgette. Photo by Lock & Whitfield. 1877. National Portrait Gallery London. Via Wikimedia Rampant epidemics of cholera took many lives in the Victorian era. These epidemics were finally overcome with the discovery that cholera was a waterborne infection and by massive reconstruction of the…

  • Book review: Medicine in the Middle Ages

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover of Medicine in the Middle Ages by Juliana Cummings. In the history of Western Europe, the Middle Ages refers to the period between the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century through the beginning of the Renaissance in the 1500s. These thousand years were characterized…