Control measures were introduced to limit or halt spread of disease: cordon sanitaire (sanitary cordon or sanitary line). A quarantine line. A guarded line designed to cut off infected area, to contain disease (metaphor of containment). • Houses of afflicted marked with “X” or other signs indicated infection present • Pest house, or pesthouse or fever shed, something like “hospitals” where infected people taken. Family members reluctant to use these because members never returned. Minimal care. Abysmal conditions. Often located near cemeteries or ponds or places where bodies could be disposed. Plague was thought to be transmitted by air. Origin of term “malaria,” means vaguely enough “bad air.” Often associated with swampy environments or foul smells. • Miasma and miasma theory: vaporous emanation thought to cause disease. Disease thought to consist of imbalance in the humors. Since it involved a fever, it was thought there was too much blood. Galen had postulated fevers involved increase of hotness in heart that eventually suffocated it. • Purgatives often used to expunge humors. Leeching, bloodletting very common treatment. Thought could literally drain plague from body with cutting. • Also, would lance the boil, and treat with poultice of herbs (garlic, onion, etc.) Medicines administered included arsenic, herbs like lily root, and even dried toads. Applied in drinks, poultices, washes, rubs, etc.
• Cupping used too • In Elizabethan era used “New World,” products like tobacco Because believed plague transmitted by air and eventually after 1450 suspected that it spread from patient to patient, a uniform or garment came to be employed and worn by specialist doctor known as the “plague doctor.” • Garment an attempt to block poisonous airs, oilskin, leather headpiece, glass goggles, pointed noise where herbs and spices kept to filter air (“nosegay”).
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 3 pages?