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A Handbook of Health by Woods Hutchinson

HOW TO CONQUER CONSUMPTIONDifferent Forms of Tuberculosis


Our

best protection against all these is, first, to have our rooms well ventilated, well lighted, and well sunned; for most of these germs die quickly when exposed to direct sunlight, and even to bright, clear daylight. The next most important thing is to avoid, so far as we can, coming in contact with people who have any of these diseases, whether mild or severe; and the third is to build up our vigor and resisting power by good food, bathing, and exercise in the open air, so that these germs cannot get a foothold in our throats and lungs.

Colds. Two-thirds of all colds are infectious, and due, not to cold pure air, but to foul, stuffy air, with the crop of germs that such air is almost certain to contain. They should be called "fouls," not "colds." They spread from one person to another; they run through families, schools, and shops. They are accompanied by fever, with headache, backache, and often chills; they "run their course" until the body has manufactured enough antitoxins to stop them, and then they get well of their own accord. This is why so many different remedies have a great reputation for curing colds.

If you "catch cold," stay in your own room or in the open air for a few days, if possible, and keep away from everybody else. You only waste your time trying to work in that condition, and will get better much more quickly by keeping quiet, and will at the same time avoid infecting anybody else. Get

your doctor to tell you what mild antiseptic to use in your nose and throat; and then keep it in stock against future attacks. Often it is advisable to rest quietly in bed a few days, so as not to overtax the body in its weakened condition.

[Illustration: EXERCISE IN THE COLD IS A GOOD PREVENTIVE OF COLDS]

Keep away from foul, stuffy air as much as possible, especially in crowded rooms; bathe or splash in cool water every morning; sleep with your windows open; and take plenty of exercise in the open air; and you will catch few colds and have little difficulty in throwing off those that you do catch. Colds are comparatively trifling things in themselves; but, like all infections however mild, they may set up serious inflammations in some one of the deeper organs--lungs, kidneys, heart, or nervous system, and frequently make an opening for the entrance of the germs of tuberculosis or pneumonia. Don't neglect them; and if you find that you take cold easily, find out what is wrong with yourself, and reform your unhealthful habits.

[Illustration: A YEAR OF CONSUMPTION ON MANHATTAN ISLAND

Every black dot represents one case reported. The groupings show how rapidly the disease spreads from one household to another in the same locality.]

HOW TO CONQUER CONSUMPTION

Different Forms of Tuberculosis. The terrible disease tuberculosis is the most serious and deadly enemy which the human body has to face. It kills every year, in the United States, over a hundred and fifty thousand men, women, and children--_more lives than were lost in battle in the four years of our Civil War_. It is caused by a tiny germ--the _tubercle bacillus_--so called because it forms little mustard-seed-like lumps, or masses, in the lungs, called _tubercles_, or "little tubers." For some reason it attacks most frequently and does its greatest damage in the lungs, where it is called _consumption_; but it may penetrate and attack any tissue or part of the body. Tuberculosis of the glands, or "kernels," of the neck and skin, is called _scrofula_; tuberculosis of the hip is _hip-joint disease_; and tuberculosis of the knee, _white swelling_. "Spinal disease" and "hunch-back" are, nine times out of ten, tuberculosis of the backbone. Tuberculosis of the bowels often causes fatal wasting away, with diarrhea, in babies and young children; and tuberculosis of the brain (called _tubercular meningitis_) causes fatal convulsions in infancy.


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