§ 33. Catarrhal Fever in Children.

We ought not to omit mentioning, on this occasion, a catarrh or catarrhal fever of children which can only be observed by the physician, but cannot be investigated by questioning the patient. The pathology and treatment of this fever do not differ essentially from the one above described. It is characterized by sneezing, running of the nose and eyes, cough, hoarseness, and in small children rattling arising from the mucus, which they have not strength enough to throw off.

Aconite, two or three doses a-day, is the principal remedy when the following symptoms occur: burning heat of the whole body, accelerated pulse and breathing, dry, short cough, the infant screaming sometimes as if it would manifest pain. If the heat be less marked, the cough loose with constant irritation in the air-passages, and if rattling be present, we know of no better remedy for those symptoms than Antimonial wine, one, two, or three drops a-day; this remedy frequently removes the symptoms more rapidly than Chamomilla, which is likewise indicated. In catarrhal fevers, Euphrasia suits children frequently better than full-grown persons, the profuse running from the nose being frequently accompanied by a considerable redness of the whites of the eyes, lachrymation and slight agglutination. As regards other remedies, we refer to those indicated for the catarrhal fever of full-grown persons, reminding our readers particularly of Belladonna and Pulsatilla.

The dry coryza is still more troublesome than the fluent; the former hindering the infant's taking the breast and causing it to scream and to be restless. This condition arises from the suppression, in consequence of cold, of a fluent coryza, causing a disagreeable dryness of the nose, which brings on the difficulty of taking the breast. This affection frequently lasts a long while, becomes worse in warmth, and decreases in the open air, where the running from the nose is generally restored. It befalls not only small, but even larger children, inducing a habit of breathing with an open mouth.

The trouble is frequently removed by rubbing the dorsum of the nose with a greasy substance, such as hen's grease, almond oil, or thick cream; or by causing the vapour of warm milk to pass into the nose. Inasmuch as the trouble is chiefly owing to the nasal mucus not being secreted in a sufficient quantity, it is certainly a good plan to replace the natural mucus by an oily substance, say almond oil, with which the inner walls of the nose may be lined by means of a fine feather.

If this palliative means should not be sufficient to remove the trouble, an internal remedy will then have to be resorted to, and will have to be selected in accordance with all the concomitant symptoms. A small dose of Nux will prove the best, if the dry coryza increase in the evening, accompanied by great dryness of the mouth, whereas the fluent coryza prevails in the daytime. Other physicians pretend to have removed the trouble by repeated doses of Sambucus. In some cases, where the obstruction of the nose was accompanied by a profuse discharge of mucus, Chamomilla proved curative; Dulcamara is the best remedy when the dry coryza increases in a cool and decreases in a warm temperature. Carbo veg. deserves consideration in obstinate cases, with evening exacerbation; Graphites, when great debility and prostration prevail.

If the dry coryza set in while the children are still at the breast, or if the mother be affected with it, the latter may take the medicine alone.