Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: fever

  • On orchids and testes

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “You like orchids?…Nasty things. Their flesh is too much like the flesh of men, their perfume the rotten sweetness of corruption.”– John Steinbeck Orchids belong to a widespread group of flowering plants. There are about 28,000 species of orchids worldwide.1 The underground tubers of many European orchids—which contain the plant’s reserve food…

  • The decisive influence of malaria on the outcome of Grant’s Vicksburg campaign of 1863

    Lloyd Klein Eric Wittenberg California, San Francisco, United States   Contemporaneous photograph of the dwellings dug into the hills in Vicksburg to escape the bombardment. Public domain. The vital importance of controlling the Mississippi River was apparent to Union strategists from the beginning of the Civil War. The river served as a major supply route,…

  • Diagnosis: Neurosyphilis. Treatment: Malaria, iatrogenic

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Patient in Kettering hypertherm cabinet undergoing fever therapy. New Orleans, 1937. U.S. Marine Hospital. Works Progress Administration photo. New Orleans Public Library Digital Collections via Wikimedia. Public domain. “The syphilitic man was thinking hard…about how to get his legs to step off the curb and carry him across Washington Street.…

  • Scotland’s Anthrax Island

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Cutaneous anthrax lesion on the neck, May 25, 1953. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Image Library. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. “They make a desolation and call it peace.” — Agha Shahid Ali (1949–2001)   During World War Two, the British government purchased from its owners the Gruinard…

  • Book review: Casanova’s Guide to Medicine

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom The eighteenth-century Italian Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798) is today best remembered for legendary amorous pursuits that resulted in his name becoming a part of the English language. What has been forgotten, however, is that he was a remarkable and erudite polymath. He graduated as a lawyer from the University of Padua…

  • Thomas Sydenham, “The English Hippocrates”

    JMS Pearce East Yorks, UK   Fig 1. Thomas Sydenham. Abraham Blooteling after Mary Beale – portrait of Thomas Sydenham 8-B-47-Med Source Still Fever burns, and all her skill defies Till Sydenham’s wisdom plays a double part, Quells the disease and helps the failing Art. -from a poem on plague by John Locke, 1668  …

  • The Schoolhouse Lab

    Edward McSweeganKingston, Rhode Island, United States “Black measles” was a common name for spotted fever, which regularly killed people in the western United States. Symptoms included a spotty rash on the extremities, fever, chills, headache, and photophobia. No one knew what caused it. The first recorded case in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley was in 1873.1 Twenty-three…

  • Some subjects are given

    Michael Salcman Baltimore, Maryland, United States   Self-portrait with fiddling Death. Arnold Böcklin. 1872. Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin   Some subjects are given to the authors of poems and songs, of mechanical puzzles and lives, given over and over like a spiking fever in an old TB ward or the low level irritation of a cancer…

  • Borderline

    William Marshall Tucson, Arizona, United States   Huachuca Mountains Photography by J. G. Park When family and friends from back East ask me about the Arizona/Mexico border, two images come to mind: first, an almost unlimited view of blue sky and distant mountains; second, a sick, frightened teenage boy sitting on an exam table in…