This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
Chill, followed by fever: dizziness: thickened speech: high fever; tongue coated, becoming dry and cracked, and covered with black crusts: delirium, followed by stupor; swelling of the glands in the groins, armpits, and around the neck: black and blue spots on the skin.
This is a disease which, fortunately, seldom, if ever, visits this part of the world, although it prevails more or less at intervals in Turkey, Prussia and Russia. Its severest ravages are confined to the region of the Black Sea The disease is both infectious and contagious. It is usually developed in from two to seven days after exposure. It is very fatal, running its course in from three to five days. Eighty to ninety per cent of all who are attacked, die. When recovery occurs, improvement begins the latter part of the first, or by the middle of the second week. Patients who survive the first week, generally recover.
In the Middle Ages, this malady frequently prevailed to such an extent in some of the European countries as to almost depopulate them. Terrible epidemics of the disease occurred in Egypt and Assyria before the Christian era. Several times this malady has seemed to die out, but has broken out anew, and it is probable that it continues to exist in a mild form in some of the countries which appear to be its native home. It is undoubtedly the most fatal of all infectious diseases.
This is a malady which very closely resembles the plague, and is by some authors supposed to be identical with it In the fourteenth century, an epidemic of this disease spread over the whole known world, destroying a great proportion of the human race. It is probably still perpetuated in some provinces of East India, particularly in the vicinity of the Himalayas.