The Symptoms of Cholera Morbus

Vomiting, soon followed by purging; watery, acrid or acid discharges from the bowels; colicky pains, cramp in the feet and limbs; hiccough; rapid and feeble pulse; cold skin, often bathed with clammy sweat; voice feeble and hollow.

This disease is nothing more in fact than an extension in a severe form of the preceding, the watery discharges resembling those which not infrequently occur in catarrhal affections of the mucous membrane. The disease most frequently occurs in hot weather, and is generally excited by errors in diet, as the use of green fruit. Sometimes the disease assumes an epidemic form, a large number of persons being attacked at about the same time. Attacks most frequently come on during the night, the first symptom being a feeling of pressure at the pit of the stomach, which is shortly followed by nausea and vomiting. The matter vomited first usually consists of undigested food. After a time, a pale yellow or greenish fluid, intensely acrid, bitter, or acid, is vomited. Griping pains in the bowels are also present. The discharges from the bowels are at first pulpy in character, but soon become liquid, enormous quantities of fluids passing from the body. The result of this great discharge of fluids is a rapid shrinking of the tissues, giving to the features and other parts of the body a pinched appearance. The nose is pointed, the eyes sunken, and the skin appears dry and shriveled. It is always cold, and sometimes covered with a clammy perspiration. The discharges from the bowels sometimes have the appearance of thin rice-water or thin gruel, which gives the disease a close resemblance to cholera. The oppression of the patient is very great, the voice becoming hollow, and sometimes being lost altogether. Notwithstanding the serious aspect of the disease, it usually subsides in a few hours, the patient making rapid recovery. Sometimes, however, particularly in the cases of very old people and infants, the exhaustion becomes so great that the patient does not rally, and passes into a relapse. The discharges become involuntary, the pulse disappears, and the patient finally dies of exhaustion.