§ 35. Grippe.

Another species of catarrhal fever is the grippe, which prevailed at the commencement of the year 1833.f The symptoms of grippe are much more varied and complicated than those of influenza; and the disease, when invading the organism suddenly, was much more dangerous, and sometimes led to fatal results. If a patient, whose chest was affected, had an attack of the grippe, consumption was generally the result of that complication; in very few cases only it was possible to save the patient's life. Generally, an attack of the grippe came on suddenly - in a few cases only the disease developed itself gradually; it was distinguished from any other catarrhal disease by an unusual lassitude, heaviness and a bruised feeling in the limbs, especially the lower. At times this prostrate feeling of the limbs was accompanied with headache and an inclination to vomit, at times with sore throat and some hoarseness. Sometimes the dry coryza became very violent, and was accompanied with a violent and frequently intolerable tearing pain in the forehead, affecting the facial bones, with pressure in the remaining portion of the head, vertigo, otalgia, painful swelling of the parotids, etc. The disease had many peculiar features, for instance: in persons who were not entirely well, it would excite the former symptoms which had become latent, thus making the cure so much more difficult; it would attack the same person several times, but always under another form; sometimes it would last a considerable while in a mild form, but the symptoms, although easily yielding to suitable remedies, would be excited again by the least error in diet, sometimes even the next day. Another peculiarity of the grippe was its tendency to unite with other diseases, modifying their course and aggravating the whole condition. Dr. Bosch (see Hygea, XIX, p. 328), found that fetid sweats and erysipelatous eruptions constituted critical phenomena in grippe, and therefore proposes to designate the disease as a febris erysipelacea epidemica.

* See Hahnemann's Materia Med. Pura, by Charles J. Hempel, M. D., Vol. I , preface to Camphor, + See All. hom. Zeit., Vol. II., p. 187, etc.; also, Archiv, Vol. XIII., 2, p. 88.

As soon as the first symptoms of the disease made their appearance, it was an easy thing to suppress it by smelling a few times of Camphor; after some time it broke out, nevertheless.- This was not the case in an epidemic grippe which broke out afterwards, and for which the first attenuation of Camphor taken internally proved the most sovereign remedy (see All. horn. Zeit. XXV. 61). When an inflammatory condition of the thoracic organs was a predominant symptom, Nux was always found an excellent remedy after Aconite. Merc. sol. or Merc, vivus was preferable when the head, throat, and chest were violently affected, and when a dry, racking cough, which afterwards became loose, was present; when the patient complained of pains in the pleura, with profuse sweats which did not afford him any relief; when the condition of the liver exhibited inflammatory symptoms, the pain being rather dull, and the pulse not very hard; a few doses of Mercurius a-day were sufficient to remove and even to suppress the disease in the very beginning. Phosphorus was the best remedy when the trachea was irritated or inflamed, and when the intense pain prevented speech, or when the voice was very much altered.

Sometimes the disease assumed the form of sporadic cholera; in that case the catarrhal symptoms were inconsiderable, but the debility so much more marked. Veratrum was the specific for that group of symptoms. If, in the course of the disease, typhoid symptoms set in, as was frequently the case in the later periods of the epidemic; if the patient became delirious, had a wild, staring look, complained of great sensitiveness of the abdomen, with a full, hard pulse, Aconite was given with great effect; the remaining symptoms yielded to Pulsatilla. This remedy frequently removed the papescent, insipid taste which sometimes remained a long time, accompanied with slimy coating of the tongue and want of appetite.

An exceedingly distressing symptom in that disease was the violent pressing, aching pain in the forehead; this pain, together with the accompanying cough, and the loose and slimy expectoration, yielded to Bryonia, which was likewise the principal remedy when the liver was distended, and the region of the liver was painful to the touch, or when the pain was excited by coughing or taking a deep inspiration. Bryonia was also the specific remedy for the cough when it readily excited vomiting, or occasioned a pain in the epigastric region (in which case Bryon. and Nux were equally indicated), and a pain as if bruised under the short ribs, obliging the patient, while coughing, to press his hands against the region where this pain was experienced. Bryonia was given alternately with Carbo veg., in a form of grippe with which old people were sometimes attacked, and which was characterized by great distress in the chest and coldness of the limbs; this form frequently terminated fatally in paralysis of the lungs. If the cough was dry, spasmodic; if the headache became intolerable, if it was increased by walking, talking, bright light, movement; if the patient had a staring look, and saw all sorts of fanciful images on closing the eyes, Belladonna was the remedy; and after using it for a couple of hours, the symptoms, although bordering upon encephalitis, had disappeared.

Rhus was indicated if the grippe had come on in consequence of getting wet, and the attack was characterized by oppressive anxiety,frequent turns of involuntary, deep breathing, restlessness of the body, and if the patient was constantly changing his place of rest.

Sabadilla was the remedy when the grippe took the form of an inflammatory affection of the organs of the chest, accompanied with violent chilliness and external coldness.

China removed the cough which commenced with, and seemed to arise from a rattling behind the sternum, as if mucus had accumulated in that region.

An exhausting cough, with difficult expectoration, and every paroxysm being followed by yawning, yielded to Opium, a number of other remedies having previously been tried in vain.

The alcoholic tincture of Sulphur was found useful towards the termination of the disease, when the fever was abating, and when the patient experienced the stitches in the chest only during a deep inspiration, or a violent paroxysm of cough, oppression of the chest as if a heavy load pressed upon the chest, being likewise present.

The spasmodic cough which remained a long while after the disease had left, and which frequently tormented the patient for hours, almost always yielded to one or two doses of Hyosciamus, in single cases to Belladonna; if, however, the nightly paroxysm did not cease till the patient had vomited a quantity of frothy mucus, mixed with tips of yellowish pus, Conium was the principal remedy; if the cough appeared after every meal, and the food was vomited up again, Ferrum aceticum was the specific remedy.

If the grippe left behind a troublesome cough, with gray, saltish, sweetish expectoration, wheezing and rattling in the chest, Kali hydriod. proved an incomparable remedy.

When the grippe threatened to develope a previously existing phthisical disposition, a few doses of Stannum in alternation with Carbo veg. were frequently sufficient to remove the symptoms before phthisis had been fully developed.

Consecutive symptoms of the grippe sometimes were obstinate inflammation of the eyes, with ulcers of the cornea, and violent photophobia; the only remedy which removed them permanently was Arsenic; repeated doses of Belladonna were sometimes given with success, but the relief was not permanent.