Search Results for: diphtheria

Remembering Cholera in the Time of Covid

It came in crippling waves, the deadly intestinal infection that, in 1832 alone, killed 150,000 Americans.  Its telltale symptom was copious watery diarrhea (“rice water”) accompanied by heavy vomiting, loss of internal fluids and electrolytes, and dehydration; hence its name, … Continue reading

The War on Children’s Plague

In the early 19th century, doctors called it angina maligna (gangrenous pharyngitis) or “malignant sore throat.”  Then in 1826, the French physician Pierre-Fidele Bretonneau grouped both together as diphtherite.  It was a horrible childhood disease in which severe inflammation of … Continue reading

Antivaccinationism, American Style

Here is an irony:  America’s staggering production of generations of scientific brainpower coexists with the deep skepticism about science of many Americans.  Donald Trump, a prideful scientific illiterate, rode to power on the back of many others who, like him, … Continue reading

Covid-19 and Trump’s Medieval Turn of Mind

“We ought to give it [hydroxychloroquine] a try . . . feel good about it. That’s all it is, just a feeling, you know, smart guy. I feel good about it.” – Donald J. Trump, March 20, 2020 “I see … Continue reading

Remembering the Nurses of WWI (IV)

“Mustard gas burns.  Terrific suffering.”  [The fourth of a series of essays about the gallant nurses of World War I commemorating the centennial of America’s entry into the war on April 6, 1917.  The nursing care of soldiers exposed to … Continue reading

Medical Freedom, Then and Now

“A nation’s liberties seem to depend upon headier and heartier attributes than the liberty to die without medical care.”                                                                        ~Milton Mayer, “The Dogged Retreat of the Doctors” (1949) Conservative supreme court justices who voice grave skepticism about the constitutionality … Continue reading

“Socialized Medicine,” anyone?

The primary season is upon us, which means it’s time for Republicans to remind us of the grave perils of “socialized medicine.”  One-time candidate Michele Bachmann accuses Mitt Romney  of “put[ting] into place socialized medicine” when governor of Massachusetts.  Newt … Continue reading