Miliary Fever, or Miliaria, a disease which affects both sexe6, at every age, but particularly recluse and sedentary women. It is accompanied with continued fever, anxiety, a sensation of punctures in the skin, and profuse unctuous sweats.
Causes.—Excessive watching ; the indulgence of the more violent passions; suppression of the natural discharges, as also too great evacuations.; eating of unripe fruit, and similar pernicious trash; a weak watery diet, and impure or putrid water. It is, in general, a primary disease, though it is sometimes consequent on quartan and puerperal fevers.
Peculiarities.—The miliary fever, though not contagious, is an epidemic disease, and sometimes a critical symptom in the autumnal putrid fever. It generally commences its attack with a cold shivering, which is succeeded by intense beat, pain in the head and loins, oppression on the breast, and difficulty of breathing. An itching and prickling sensation is felt in the skin, which, between the seventh and fourteenth days, is covered with numerous small, red, and distinct pimples, that appear first on the neck and chest, and gradually spread over the whole body, excepting the face. This eruption is usually preceded by profuse sweating; and, in the course of two or three days, the tops of the pimples are filled with small white vesicles, which speedily disaj pear. In the course of a few days, the pustules assume a yellowish cast, and at length totally vanish, leaving the skin covered with branny or mealy scales.
Cure.—In this, as in all other eruptive fevers, the chief point is, to prevent the pustules from striking inwards; as the patient is then in the most imminent danger. In the first period of the disease, bloodletting will, in general, be necessary ; and, if the eruption appear and disappear, repeated small blisters may be advantageously applied. It will likewise be advisable to administer, frequently, gentle laxatives ; but, if the patient be in a languid state, and the bowels become regular, the liberal use of Peruvian bark will essentially contribute to his recovery. During the whole progress of this fever, he ought to be kept uniformly cool; his diet also should be cooling and nutritious, and adapted to his strength and constitution. Lastly, as soon as he is able to encounter the air, gentle and daily exercise will be attended with the best effects.