THIS is one of the five diseases which man may take from animals.
The other four are the cow pox, hydrophobia, glanders, and malignant carbuncle. This last is what the French call charbon, pronounced sharbo. My own mother and elder brother came near losing their lives by it, having taken it by handling the flesh and tallow of a dead cow.
Malignant pustule begins with a water pimple, not bigger than a millet seed. Underneath it is a hard point, surrounded with redness, like a flea bite. This hardness is soon attacked by mortification, which spreads on all sides, and kills everything as it goes. Next, in fatal cases, come great restlessness, faintings, sunken countenance, dry skin, dry brown tongue, despondency, delirium, and death. It is supposed generally not to arise from constitutional causes, but to be produced by a specific poison or bacterium applied to the skin, or by eating the flesh of cattle which die of gangrenous diseases. The disorder is probably the same as the malignant carbuncle.
Treatment. Deep incisions, and the application of the most powerful caustics, as the caustic potash, etc., and tincture of peruvian bark, quinine, aromatic sulphuric acid, wine, ether and opium. Probably the best treatment is to surround the pustule with a thick layer of ointment; then to fasten some lint to the end of a stick, wet it with nitric acid, and press it upon the pustule. Now apply cloths, wet with cold water, and when the slough comes off, dress with simple ointment, or touch occasionally with weak solution of nitrate of silver (211). When once opened it should be thoroughly irrigated with disinfectants like corrosive sublimate, in strength of 1 part to 2000 solution.
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