General Diseases

In his book Vade mecum of Homeopathy, E.H.Ruddock gave the classification of Diseases. first he grouped them into surgical and non surgical. Then he wrote that every disturbance of health has some effect on the whole. Therefore, in one sense, all disease are general disease. But for convenience of refine diseases that affected certain parts of the body are classified under regional headings….

PART III Medical and Surgical Diseases, and their Homoeopathic and General Treatment

STRICTLY speaking, apart from injury, there is no such thing as a local disease. Every disturbance of health, in however remote a part of the body, has some effect on the whole. Therefore, in one sense, all disease are general disease. But for convenience of refine in this volume, diseases that affected markedly certain arts of the body (as the Respiratory System or the Alimentary system) are classified under regional headings. In this chapter the Specific infectious disease, s due to microscopic parasites, terms, etc.) will be considered. and also a few diseases like diabetes, Anaemia, etc., which cannot be readily referred to any one region,. The specific infectious fevers will be considered rest, then the general diseases like Diabetes, Anaemia, etc., which cannot be readily referred to any one region. The specific infectious rivers will be considered first, then the general disease like anemia. the specific infectious disease include those that are apt to occur in epidemics, where the agents which cause them become widely speak. Several of them are characterized by the appearance on the skin of an eruption known as the rash, or exanthem hence they are sometimes called the exanthemata. They are also accompanied by a rise of temperature, and are the principal members of the group known as ‘fevers.

They are also called Zymotic disease, from the resemblance of the poisons that cause from to ferments acting in. the blood and on the body. From the point of few of public health, they are preventable by sanitary measure, s and their range of alter years has been considerably curtailed by the works of Public health off.

In all of them there is a patent period between the time of reception of the poison and the accession of the fever, during which time period of incubation) the patient papers in good health. In the different diseases the eruption appears at different times. The following table shows the period of incubation and the day of the disease after the first rise of temperature upon which the rash appears.



Disease Incubation Quarantine Isolation Appearance of Rash.

Days Days Weeks plus From commencement of disease if symptoms have disappeared Chicken-pox 14 20 1a After all crusts have separated Ist day

Cholera 1-4 – –

Diphtheria 1-4 10 3

Enteric 7-21 21 6 6th to (typhoid 8th day

Erysipelas 1-4 7 –

German Measles 12-22 21 2 Ist or 2nd day Influenza 1-3 – 2

Measles 10-14 16 3 4th day

Mumps 14-25 26 3

Plague 1-7 21 3

Ringworm (scalp) – 14 4b After disappearance of symptoms

Scarlet Fever 1-7 10 6 2nd day

Small-pox 12 18 1a 3rd day

Whooping Cough 4-12 21 6


Small-pox, cholera, diphtheria, membranous croup, erysipelas, scarlatina or scarlet fever, typhus, typhoid (enteric), relapsing, continued and puerperal fevers, tuberculosis, cerebro- spinal meningitis, anterior polio-myelitis, and other diseases in certain localities must at once be notified to the Medical Officer of Health for the district. Certificates are supplied free by the local authority. Practitioners fee, 2s. 6d. (private patient) or Is. (public practice). Penalty for omission to notify, 40s.-Act of 1889 and Public Health (London) Act, 1891.

34.-Small-pox (Variola).

DEFINITION- Small-pox is a continued infectious fever accompanied by a pustular eruption, which generally leaves behind permanent cicatrices. It seldom recurs.

Some years ago there as scarcely a family which had not a bewail the loss of some member from this deadly scourge, while on every side we were met by persons who se deeply-pitted faces showed what they had at some time or other been sufferers. But happily deaths from this loathsome disease are now more rare. In the ten years 1864 to 1873 the total number of deaths from small-pox in England and Wales was 69,839, and average of 6,984, in the next ten years and annual average ad fallen to (,803, in 1886 in number was 506. The violent outbreak of 1871-72, in which two years no fever than 42,807 persons were carried off attracted the attention of government, numerous sanitary regulations were issued, and the practice of vaccination rigidly unforced Since then the death rate from small-pox has steadily declined. In 1886 it was 275, in 1889 23, in 1890 16, in 1910, 19, and for the last ten years the numbers have been small. the practice of isolation of all contracts as soon as the case of the disease has been notified, has been successful in stamping out threatening epidemics on many occasions, and it is now universally followed. Since vaccination has been made a matter of choice on the part of parents. there has been a steady decline in the number of vaccination. This causes alarm to those who believe that vaccination alone gives security, but that experience of Leicester (virtually an unvaccinated town), wherein the method of isolation of contacts was first practised, shows that even an unvaccinated community can control the spread of the disease effectively by wise public health methods.

VARIETIES-It p;resents two varieties Variola Discrete and Variola Confluens., (I) In v. discreta the pustules are comparatively few, remain distinct from each other, and may be easily counted. It is the simplest form of the disease, a nd except during the first dentition, is rarely fatal. (2) In V. confluence the pustules are numerous, their outline irregular, or they run into each other, forming large continuous suppurate g surfaces. It is attended with the greatest dengue to life; for the severity of the disease bears a direct proportion to the amount of he eruption, and the danger arises chiefly from the large quantity of postal;action. If the pustules are confluent not the face, whether they are so or not on other parts, we class it with the they are so or not on other parts,. we class it with the they are so or not on other parts, we class if with the confluent kind. The dancer is always rendered greater, cateris paribus, when the eruption is very full about the head face, and neck (Marson). There is also a variety in which the pustules partially coalesce, termed Variola Semi-confluens.

COURSE-Small-pox runs through four stages The latent or incubative period lasts about twelve days from the reception of the poison; the primary or initiatory fever continues about fourth-eight hours the stage of maturation about nine days; and the secondary fever and decline of The eruption very in length according to the severity of the disease.

SYMPTOMS-As in most other fevers, the following symptoms appear in the first state;l chilliness, heat, headache, sometimes delirium; a thickly-furred white tongue; a deep flush upon he face; a hard, frequent pulse; a feeling of bruised pain all over the body, but especially in the back and loins;l more or less pain or especially in the back and loins; more or less pain or tenderness at the pit of the stomach, and vomiting. The pains in. he loins and the vomiting are the most characteristic of the promontory symptoms, and are seldom absent. when these are excessive and continuous, they are the precursors of a severe form of the disease. On the third or fourth day, the eruption, often so minute as to escape observation, appears in a form of red spots, or small hard pimples, which feel like shot in the skin. I appears first on the face, neck, and wrists, then on the body, and finally on the lower extremities. if examined, the eruption may be seen upon he palate, and is often formed on the lining membrane of the larynx, trachea, and bronchi, giving rise to sore-throat, salivation, cough, painful expectoration, and hoarseness. The implies gradually increase in size until about the eighth day from the commencement of the fever; the contents, at fist watery and transparent change to yellowish matter as the pimples become ripened into pustules (postulation). the pustules are depressed in. the centre are surrounded for a hot distance by a rose-red areola. During the time the pustules are filling up there is swelling of the eyelids and face, sometimes to such a degree as to obliterate the freighters. A peculiar, disagreeable odour now begins to emanate from the patient, which is so characteristic that the disease at this state might be known by this alone. On the first appearance of the eruption the fever subsides. but in the confluent form, when it is at its height, a fresh attack sets in, which, to distinguish fit from the precursory fever, is called the secondary fever.

In about eight days from the first appearance of the eruption the pustules break, and discharge their contents scales then form, which dry up, and in a healthy state of constitution fall of in the course of four or five days. When this take place, purplish-red stains are left behind, which very slowly fade away; minor indelible depressed scars remain, which are called pits. In the latter case the persons so marked is said to be pitted with the small-pox.

Edward Harris Ruddock
Ruddock, E. H. (Edward Harris), 1822-1875. M.D.

Author of "The Stepping Stone to Homeopathy and Health,"
"Manual of Homoeopathic Treatment". Editor of "The Homoeopathic World."