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The Contagion Of Scarlatina Very Active

Sources: Hydriatic Treatment Of Scarlet Fever In Its Different Forms

The _contagion_ of scarlatina is very active, and adheres for a long

time to the sick-room, bedding, clothes and furniture. The best means to

destroy it, is plenty of air. It is difficult to say when the contagion

is over, as much depends on the season of the year and the care with

which the house is aired. Physicians and visitors at the sick-room are

very apt to carry it about, unless they be exceedingly careful in

nging their clothes and washing themselves, hair and all, before

entering other rooms inhabited by persons who had not had the disorder

before. It is astonishing how easily such persons are taken by it; and

it even sometimes happens that such as have gone through it, take it

again in after years. I am authorized by experience, that the idea as if

patients under water-treatment, or even such as take a cold bath every

morning, were inaccessible to the contagion, is erroneous. I have had

patients under treatment for chronic diseases, who had had scarlatina

several years before, and neither this nor the water-cure protected them

from taking it again. With some of them, however, the throat only became

affected and no desquamation took place, whilst the character of the

complaint with the rest was rather mild. I have been astonished to read

that in a meeting of a medical society of this country, which took place

a very short time ago, some members could have raised the question

whether scarlatina was really contagious. I admit that the profession in

general has not made great progress in the cure of the complaint, but it

does not require great study and long experience to know that

scarlet-fever is contagious!

The form of the disorder in one patient does not imply the

necessity of another who caught it from him having it in the same form.

A person can take the contagion from one who dies of malignant

scarlet-fever and have it in the mildest form, and vice versa. The

character of the disease depends very much on the constitution, as I

have said above. However, if the epidemy in general is of a malignant

character (which may again depend, partly at least, on the constitution

of the atmosphere), it will prove so in many individuals who are taken

with it, and the precautions ought to be so much the more careful on

that account.