Malignant Pustule. Anthrax.
Wool SorterŐs Disease.
MEN who work among cattle or sheep, dress hides, etc., are liable to contract this disease by inoculation or inhalation of the germ, or by eating diseased meat. Abrasions on the skin become infected when handling diseased hides, rags, wool or hair, or instruments; Flies or mosquitoes may carry the infection. The disease develops in from one to five days after exposure.
The malignant pustule caused by inoculation is most apt to appear on the face, hands, or arms, as a small pimple with itching, smarting and burning pain as from the bite of an insect. Watery or bloody fluid forms in the pimple which is surrounded by little pimples, and there is swelling, also inflammation of the nearby glands. In severe cases there are marked constitutional symptoms, fever, prostration, sweat, enlarged liver, and spleen, dry tongue, and may be delirium stupor, collapse and death in from four to eight days.
There is a form called malignant edema, without pustules, but where the swelling is very extensive. In the internal form caused by eating infected meat, there are all the symptoms of acute poisoning, chill, prostration, headache, pain in the intestines, nausea, vomiting, and frequently death. Wool sorterŐs or rag pickerŐs disease is characterized by chill, then fever with high temperature, labored respiration, bronchitis, pains in the back and legs, and great nervous depression.
The indications for internal remedies are few; but internal medication is of importance, and should be persisted in.
Arsenicum. Painful and malignant pustule, with great prostration and restlessness; constant thirst, but drinking little at a time; depression of the nervous system, and when stomach symptoms are prominent with pain, nausea, vomiting and retching; mouth dry; tongue red; small weak pulse. Give at once in the beginning of the trouble, a dose every hour or two.
Lachesis. Bluish color of the pimple, with radiating red streaks, swelling about the pustule.
Anthracinum. Symptoms resembling those calling for Arsenicum, but even more intense, and apparently blood poisoning of the entire system.
Rhus Tox. Great restlessness; violent pains somewhat better while the patient is moving about; burning itching around the pustule vertigo; aching pains in the limbs, may be mucous diarrhea.
Secale. Coldness of the skin, with clammy perspiration; pimple bluish, not much inflammation but tendency to sloughing; pale, anxious countenance, eyes sunken, and blue circles about them.
A dose of the indicated remedy every hour. When there are pustules they should be cut out, and pure carbolic or nitric acid applied to the raw surface, or the electro cautery may be used. If swelling predominates incisions may be made, or a few drops of carbolic acid, I to 10, injected at the base of the swelling. Compresses saturated with bichloride of mercury solution, 1 to 1,000 may be applied. Stimulants are necessary when there is great prostration and feeble action of the heart; system must be well nourished.
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