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.
This is sometimes a very fatal malady. The mortality in various epidemics has ranged from 30 to 70 per cent. The disease in some cases continues only a few days; in others it may be prolonged for several months, in spite of all treatment. The general fever should be combated by cool compresses and sponge baths. The special indication is for the application of ice by means of ice compresses, or better, ice packs to the head, neck, and spine. This generally relieves the headache and delirium, greatly diminishing, if it does not entirely relieve, the pain and contraction in the neck and back. Some recommend that the head should be shaven in-order that it may be more easily and thoroughly cooled. The cold head pour is a very valuable remedy. In case the continuous application of cold to the head produces marked symptoms of depression, as indicated by slowness of the pulse, chilliness, etc., it should be discontinued for a time, or the patient should be placed in a warm blanket pack.
This measure is an excellent means of relieving the tenderness of the flesh and joints. If these measures of treatment are faithfully carried out from the very beginning of the disease, recovery may be looked for in the great majority of cases, and such unpleasant results as inflammation of the ears, resulting in deafness, and blindness from injury to the optic nerves, may be avoided. As remarked before, it is often difficult to distinguish between this disease and typhoid fever at the beginning, and hence it is well to begin active measures as soon as the first symptoms make their appearance, even after the real nature of the disease cannot be made out with certainty, especially when an epidemic of the disease is prevailing. The same precautions to prevent the extension of the disease by thorough disinfection should be observed during and after the attack as have been directed in respect to scarlet fever.