Tag Archives: influenza

The talented Dr. Cotton and other quacks

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Portrait of Henry Andrews Cotton from Appleton’s Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1924. Via Wikimedia. Over the centuries there has been a surfeit of talented medical quacks in all parts of the world. The word “quack,” indeed, is derived from the archaic Dutch word “quacksalver,” meaning “boaster who […]

Review: The History of the World in 100 pandemics, plagues and epidemics

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: The History of the World in 100 pandemics, plagues and epidemics. The publication of this book could not have been better timed. The book sets out to show how pandemics, epidemics, and infectious diseases have shaped human history over the last 5,000 years. Its contents help us […]

The wonderful world of vaccines

Jayant Radhakrishnan Chicago, Illinois, United States   A patient with his whole body covered with smallpox lesions. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, photo by Barbara Rice. Epidemics and pandemics became an issue about 10,000 years ago when hunters and gatherers became farmers and began to live in communities. Smallpox was one of the first […]

Book Review of Casanova’s Guide to Medicine

Arpan Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: Casanova’s Guide to Medicine. Lisetta Lovett. 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 […]

Encephalitis lethargica

Front page of Encephalitis lethargica. Its sequelae and treatment by Constantin Von Economo, 1931. Via Wikimedia. Encephalitis lethargica was a worldwide epidemic during the years 1918-1930 that resembled influenza. It was first described in Vienna in 1916 by Constantin von Economo in thirteen patients suffering from unusual neurological symptoms that he thought constituted a new […]

Have we learned anything from 1918-1919 influenza?

Edward Winslow Wilmette, Illinois, United States   Actual daily deaths from influenza, September to November 1918. Monthly Bulletin of the Department of Health, December 1918. NYC Municipal Library. Source.  The 2020 viral pandemic (COVID-19),1 in spite of being caused by a novel virus family, bears striking epidemiological and social resemblance to the influenza pandemic of 1918.2 […]

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EPIDEMICS Published in March, 2020 H E K T O R A M A   . The recent coronavirus outbreak inevitably brings to mind the Spanish flu, the deadly influenza pandemic of a century ago. Here we republish seven articles about this devastating viral disease that spread to the four corners of the world, killing […]