Climate and Health in Hot Countries and the Outlines of Tropical Climatology A Popular Treatise on Personal Hygiene in the Hotter Parts of the World, and on the Climates That Will Be Met Within Them.
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CLIMATE AND HEALTH
THE OUTLINES OF
A Popular Treatise on Personal Hygiene in the Hotter Parts
of the World, and on the Climates that will be
met with within them
LIEUT.-COL. G. M. GILES, M.B., F.R.C.S.
Indian Medical Service (Retd.)
“A Handbook of the Gnats or Mosquitoes,” “Kala Azar,” and
“Beri-Beri,” &c., &c.
WILLIAM WOOD AND COMPANY
A hundred years ago a prolonged residence in theTropics was regarded with well-founded horror. The bestthe white settler in the lands of the sun dared hope forwas “a short life and a merry one,” but too often themerriment was sadly lacking.
When Clive’s father made interest to get his son awritership under “Old John Company,” and packed off thetroublesome lad to India, he probably regarded it as a lastresource, and felt much as if he had signed the youth’sdoom; but an age that hanged for sheep-stealing, or less,was like to be stern in its dealings with its children.
We know now that what the father took for vice wasbut evidence of the superabundant vitality of a genius, andbeing one, Clive naturally possessed the originality to modifyhis habits to his new surroundings, and so survived tobecome an Empire-builder and hero. Nor was the caseexceptional, for looking back on the history of our greatIndian dependency, one cannot fail to be struck with thehigh average ability of the few who survived to attainleading positions.
Furlough to Europe was almost impossible, and thehills were unknown, but in spite of this, many of theseseasoned veterans who had learned their lesson lived, in theland of their adoption, to a green old age. But the rankand file, who could not or would not learn, died off likerotten sheep; and to this day it is the young and inexperienced,who have as yet not learned to adapt and protectthemselves, who fall the readiest victims. At home it is,I believe, generally recognised that at the age of 26 a man[I-iv]is rather past his best from the athletic point of view, andit is hardly to be supposed that he is not equally at hisfittest before that age, simply because he has shifted hisdomicile a couple of thousand miles to the south; but sofatal is the want of caution and intolerance of precautioninherent in early manhood, that most authorities recommendthat, if possible, emigration to a hot climate shouldbe postponed till the age of 25. This obstinate determinationto carry to tropical parts habits of life suitable onlyto the more temperate parts of Europe was carried in oldtimes to an almost incredible extent.
Now and again, in the guest-chamber of some nativenoble’s house, one may come across quaint old paintingsand engravings which show our great grandfathers fightingor playing cricket in exactly the same costume as theircontemporaries at home. No alteration whatever was madein the soldier’s dress, and his officers duelled, drank, andgambled in the same old Ramillies wigs that led such portentousgravity to those charming discussions with theenemy as to who should “fire first.” Even the earlierfiles of the Illustrated London News show the same things,and looking at these old pictures, the wonder is not somuch that many succumbed as that any survived. Evenin Europe the conditions of military service were terriblyunhealthy, and when transplanted to the Tropics the mortalitywas such as to give to India and other hot countriesan evil reputation which they have not yet lived down.
The dire struggle of the Indian Mutiny led to the firstattempts to clothe and treat the soldier in a somewhat morerational fashion, and since then great improvements havebeen effected; but a great deal more remains to be done,especially in the matter of utilising our recently gainedknowledge of the causation of malaria, before our militarystatistics can be expected to show how little this evil reputationis due to the climate itself, and how much has reallybeen caused by human misdirection. No amount of sanitaryimprovement can be expected to render Bombay a comfortableplace of residence in the dog days, and apart fromlocalities at considerable elevations, where the climate is[I-v]really temperate, it is hopeless to expect that anything inthe way of actual colonisation can succeed in the climateswith which we are dealing; but with due care and attentionto sanitary laws, as modified by the altered conditions, thereis no reason why the rates of sickness and mortality shouldbe much more formidable than elsewhere.
In the following pages the writer has endeavoured toput into popular form the principal points of personalhygiene as applied to hot countries, and as they are intendedmainly for the non-professional reader, all technicalterms have been, as far as possible, avoided, and words inpopular use, such as germs, &c., have been substituted forthe more exact nomenclature of science. Should any ofhis medical colleagues care to read a merely popular work,they can easily supply for themselves, in place of thesevague, popular words, the more precise terminology in useamongst ourselves.
The climates of the hotter parts of the world vary evenmore widely than those of the temperate zone, so that it isoften impossible to offer suggestions applicable to all ofthem; and on this account it is extremely important thatthe intending resident or visitor to them should be able toascertain what is the exact nature of the climatic conditionswith which he will have to cope, so that it is absolutelyessential to include within the scope of a work like thepresent some account of the climates of the variouscountries included in the enormous area under consideration.On this account the little book has been dividedinto two distinct parts, the first of which is devoted topersonal tropical hygiene, while the second, which dealswith climate, is necessarily mainly a dry mass of tabulatedinformation, of which only the few pages devoted to thecountry he proposes to visit is likely to interest theindividual reader.
The inclusion of information of the sort is, however,quite essential, as it is by no means easily accessible, and,as a matter of fact, scarcely exists, except in the form ofthe official records of the various meteorological observatories,so that when collecting data for the compilation of this[I-vi]second part, or appendix, on tropical climates, the writerwas a good deal surprised to find that he was engaged in thepreparation of what is really a pioneer work on the subjectin the English language.
This being the case, it has been thought well to publishthese outlines of tropical climatology also in a separateform for the use of the professional reader who may notcare to be burdened with a booklet on health treated fromthe popular point of view; a step which has further necessitatedthat the paging and indexing of the two parts shouldbe kept separate from each other, a plan which, in view ofthe moderate dimensions of the book, might otherwisehave appeared rather superfluous.
LIST OF DRUGS, &c., MENTIONED IN THE TEXT.
Bicarbonate of soda.
Bismuthi salicyl., in tabuloids of grains x. each.
Book of litmus paper.
Boracic acid, in powder.
Calomel, in tabuloids of 1⁄2 grain each.
Carbolic acid, with sufficient glycerine added to keep it in a fluid condition.
Castor oil with resorcin:—
|Mix, and dissolve the resorcin by standing the bottle in hot water.|
Citrate of potash.
Easton’s syrup, put up in a bottle marked to its dosage.
Ether sulphuric. This drug is too volatile for storage in the ordinary way inthe Tropics and so should be put up in glass capsules each holding adrachm.
“Fever” or diaphoretic mixture:—
|℞||Liq. ammon. acetatis fortior, B.P., 1885||ʒss.|
|Sp. eth. nitrosi||♏xx.|
|Potas. nitratis||gr. i.|
|Water||to ʒii for each dose.|
|Dose.—To be put up in a bottle graduated to that dosage containing8 oz. of the mixture, and taken diluted with four or five times itsquantity of water.|
|Goa powder||-||āā ʒss.|
Hydrochloric acid, preferably in the dilute form.
Opium, in tabuloids of 1 grain each.
The “Patna” drug is preferable as a sedative before the administrationof ipecacuanha.
Paint for “Dhobi’s itch”:—
|Liquor iodi fortior||-||partes æquales ad ℥ii.|
|Pure carbolic acid|
Perchloride of mercury, in tabuloids:—
|1⁄40 grain||-||for internal administration.|
|21⁄2 grain “soloids” for compounding an antisepticsolution.|
Permanganate of potash, put up in packets of 2 oz. each, wrapped in waterproofpaper, for disinfecting wells.
Phenacetin; tabuloids of grains v. each.
Phenyle, “Little’s soluble.”
Pills for hill diarrhœa and similar disturbances of the bowel:—
|℞||Euonymini||-||āā grain i.|
Pulv. hydrargyri cum creta, popularly known as grey powder.
Pulv. ipecacuanhæ, in tabuloids of 5 grains each.
Quinine sulphate (or hydrochloride) in powder. The cork should be fittedwith a small wooden cup, to measure 5 grains approximately.
Resorcin, in tabuloids of grains v. each.
Thymol, in tabuloids of grains x. each.
Tinct. camphoræ composita, popularly known as “paregoric elixir.”
INDEX TO PART I.,
CLIMATE AND HEALTH IN HOT COUNTRIES.
[For Index to Part II., “Outlines of Tropical Climatology,” seeend of volume.]
- Abdominal chills, danger of, and methods of protection from, 28, 32,144-146, 149; infantile, 153
- Aerated waters—
- Cholera, safety of drinking, in outbreak of, 136; manufacture of, neglect of necessaryprecautions in, 45-47; home manufacture of,47-48
- Africa, Bilharzia prevalent in, 184
- Africa, South—
- Camping out in, 83
- Clothing in, 25; suitable head-dress, 170
- Sleeping sickness of, 164, 165
- Sunstroke rare in, 166
- mentioned, 113
- Air, disinfecting powers of, 162
- Aladdin’s Palace, 8
- Alcohol, 62, 147
- Allahabad, water supply of, 37
- Drinking water purified by, 43, 137, 138
- Injuriousness of, in baking powder, 59
- Rice, cooking of, used in, 60-61
- Head-dress in, 29, 171
- North, mosquitoes in, 101
- “American” cotton drill—
- Tent manufacture, for, 85
- Unsuitability of, for hot climates, 26
- “Anglo-Indian gauze,” 23
- Animals infected by plague, 156; sacredness of, in India, 156
- Ankles, protection of, against mosquito bites, 117
- Anopheles mosquitoes—
- Characteristics of, 102-104
- Eggs of, figure of, 95
- Larvæ of, 4, 97-99
- Nets protecting against, 124
- Antipyrin, use of, in malaria, 128
- Ants, white, 6, 14, 18
- Apples, avoidance of, during hot weather, 58
- Assam, 182; plan of houses in, 5; protection against leeches inriding, 29
- Asses’ milk for feeding infants, 50,152-153
- Bladder worm disease in, 184
- Head covering in, 29
- Tape worm parasites in meat in, 55
- Bacon fat, nutritive value of, 79
- Baids, or native doctors, 126
- Baking powders, ingredients of, 59
- Bamboo matting, use of, for building purposes, 5
- Bancroft, Dr., 100
- Barracks in India, advisability of protecting against mosquitoes, 122
- Basel Mission, Cannanore, fabrics manufactured by, 27, 28
- Beef tea, 62
- Bengali, 14, 145
- Benger’s food, 149, 154
- Bhindi, the, 58
- Bhisti[I-x] (Mahomedan water carriers) unclean methods of,38-39; character of, 39-40
- Bhraman, 138
- Bile, functions of, and relation to dysentery, 143
- Bilharzia, 184
- Bismuth, salicylate of, administration of, in infantile diarrhœa,