Dysentery In Sweden 1750-1900 Summary

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“A forgotten plague: dysentery in Sweden, 1750-1900” by Helene Castenbrandt describes how dysentery was forgotten even though it spread throughout a region and caused the population to decrease at huge amounts. Dysentery was a plague that was caused by a bacterium from human feces being spread in food and water. The person with this bacterium would then have symptoms like mild diarrhea, severe abdominal pain and fever followed by death. Dysentery would kill the person slowly this would cause the doctors to not take much look into it and it ended up being overshadowed by another plague called cholera. This plague was also hard to determine the way it would spread throughout the region which caused doctors to question how the victims were connected.
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The previous research gave information of to the author of what was currently known about the plague. Like for example, “The British historian David Boyd Haycock gives three explanations for this lack of interest” towards dysentery. (Pg. 613) The historian then admits that dysentery was not a great medical significance, it did not command fear and the disease was endemic with low intensity. This gives us information of how the dysentery was seen by other people at the time. The season, age and gender try to provide a link between them and the plague. Castenbrandt said, “Dysentery, therefore cannot be characterized as a typical childhood disease”. The reason why was because it still affects other age groups not just the children’s age group, so this does not support any type of link towards the plague. Season wise there would be more affected in autumn, but there would still be deaths through the year. Gender wise it affected both genders even though it was assumed that women would not be affected as much because of their body
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