Clinical Report of the Rotunda Lying-in Hospital for the Year ending 5th November, 1870
American Journal of the Medical Sciences
navigators of rivers in malarious regions are not less liable than the inhabitants of their banks, to the diseases of the country. We are able, also, to understand the influence of fire and of smoke in coun¬ teracting the effects of malaria; for the effect of a large fire must be to heat the current of air passing over it, depriving it of part of its moisture; while the smoke, forming a cloud overhead, effectually checks the radiation-a fact, we may add, perfectly well known to the peasants of
... to the peasants of the valley of Chamo.uni, who build fires of green wood, in order that the valley may be overhung by a canopy of smoke, which, reflecting the heat radiated from the earth, thus pre¬ vents the formation of frost. The individual who has once suffered from periodical fevers is liable, for some time afterwards, to vernal and autumnal relapses of the disease. These were difficult of explanation under the theory which attributed the original attack to the influence of the emanations from decomposing vegetable matter, but this difficulty, Dr. Oldham thinks, disappears, if the theory which he advo¬ cates be adopted. It is in the spring and fall that the diurnal range of the thermometer is greatest, and, consequently, it is at these times that the effects of the abstraction of heat or chill are most likely to be experienced. Our author, in support of his views, advances the fact that those who are least protected against cold are those who are most apt to suffer from malarial fevers, and, consequently, that the officers of the Indian army, and the merchants of India, enjoy a comparative immunity from affections which are of frequent occurrence among the common soldiers and the Hindoos. In the preceding abstract, we have endeavoured to lay before our readers Dr. Oldham's views as to the cause of diseases which have been hitherto attributed to malaria. There is, certainly, much in them that is novel to those who are acquainted only with the works of the most popular writers on malarial disease; and we certainly cannot refuse him the tribute due to one who has had good opportunities of studying the subject, and has made good use of them. We find ourselves, however, not fully convinced by his arguments, although we confess he has done much by them to destroy the wavering faith we reposed in the more generally accepted theory.