Continued front page I592, Part 13
Herpes, or Shingles, is a fairly common eruption of the skin, which appears sometimes round the mouth or on one side of the chest along the course of the nerves. It is a nervous disorder, associated with neuralgic pain. It begins with red patches, which become groups of flat pimples, and then blisters appear, which smart severely. The blisters generally rupture. After two or three weeks they dry up and form little crusts, which leave no scars behind. An interesting fact is that the eruption is almost always one sided, and the blisters occur in clusters. The accompanying neuralgia is, as a rule, exceedingly painful, and often persists after the herpes, or shingles, has disappeared. As the condition is due to neuritis, or inflammation of the nerves, care of the health is a very important part of the treatment. The patient is sometimes hysterical or anaemic, and in such cases especially the health must be built up by fresh air, nourishing food, and iron tonics. Several tumblers of milk should be taken daily. The herpes eruption should be dusted with zinc powder, and protected from rubbing of the clothing if it occurs on the chest. Zinc ointment is soothing, and is useful to apply at night to herpes round about the lips, which in the morning may be dusted with starch or zinc powder. Three grains of quinine four times a day should be taken if neuralgia is associated with shingles.
Hiccough is a symptom occurring in various abdominal disorders, such as gastritis and appendicitis. It is often associated with flatulence. It appears sometimes in various nervous ailments, such as hysteria and epilepsy. It is due to a sudden contraction or spasm of the diaphragm, the muscle which divides the cavity of the thorax from the cavity of the abdomen about the level of the waist. Some people are troubled with attacks of hiccough after laughing. But this is of a mild type, generally curable by holding the breath or taking tea-spoonfuls of cold water. Pulling out the tongue firmly will generally give relief. When hiccough is a symptom of disease, treatment must be directed towards the cause.
Hydrophobia. This terrible disease is contracted from the bite of a dog or other animal.
Due to absorption into the blood of a poison-the dog requires to be suffering from the disease, which . is also called rabies. Owing to the muzzling orders which have been enforced in recent.years, the disease is rare now, but every care should be taken to thoroughly cleanse the bite of a dog, in order to diminish any risk of infection of hydrophobia or other poison. Anyone bitten by an animal should have the wound thoroughly cleansed at once. The first measure is to apply a strong ligature cord or elastic band above the wound. If the hand is bitten, a tight band should be applied round the wrist, for example. If the finger is bitten, the ligature should be applied at the root of the finger. The bite should be cleansed and allowed to bleed freely, and afterwards cauterised with carbolic acid. Symptoms of hydrophobia generally come on a few weeks after the person has been bitten, but, in order to allay the fears of nervous people, it may be stated that the bite of a dog not infected by rabies will not produce hydrophobia, although it may give rise to a dirty wound and sepsis. In hydrophobia the patient becomes depressed, sleepless, and headachy. The voice alters and becomes husky. Then great excitability comes on, and restlessness, accompanied by painful spasms and difficulty in breathing. Any attempt to drink water causes a spasm of the muscles of the throat, which produces odd sounds, giving rise to the idea that the patient in this condition barks like a dog. Paralysis may follow, and the case ends fatally from syncope.
Treatment must be undertaken by a medical man. Pasteur's discovery that virus obtained from the inoculation of rabbits will prevent the appearance of the disease or reduce its severity has diminished the mortality from hydrophobia. Early treatment is very necessary in true hydrophobia. A sort of hysterical hydrophobia occurs when a nervous person is bitten by a dog who is supposed to be " mad." The patient becomes irritable and depressed, says he is unable to drink, and complains of throat symptoms. There is no rise of temperature, however, and treatment readily brings about a cure.