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4 > Page 4 of Account of spasmodic cholera as it appeared in the city of Lexington in June 1833 / by Lunsford P. Yandell, M.D.

YANDELL on Spasmodic Cholera. occur up to the 10th of July, making more than a month from the commencement of the disease to its final disappear- ance. At this time (July 18th) not a case is believed to exist in the city, and but little if any more (some physicians think less) disease prevails than in ordinary seasons. I proceed next to mention a few causes which contri- buted to the mortality of the disease in this place, not to reflect upon the conduct of any one, but as a warning to oth- er people who may be destined hereafter to feel the epidemic. So secure had we felt in what were deemed the advantages of our local position, in the former proverbial healthfulness of our city, and in the general comfort of the citizens, that no provision was made for the epidemic. As a consequence, it found our municipal authorities without the means either of ministering to the wants of the indigent sick, or of taking account of the progress of the disease. No Board of Health was organized, and the Health officer being unable to obtain information, no reports were made, and hence we are now left to guess at the mortality. No available hospital was pre- pared. When the disease had been a week in progress, an attempt was made to open one, but it was then found impos- sible to procure the necessary attendants, and the project was abandoned. The result of this was, that as the sick were scattered over the whole city, much unnecessary labor was performed by the physicians, and as a necessary consequence, they were soon exhausted. During the first ten days of its prevalence Drs. Boswell, Challen, and Steele died, and near- ly every other practitioner in the city experienced an attack of the disease. To add to these misfortunes, Professors Cooke and Short were absent during the first week, and Professor Caldwell, who was in Boston when it broke out, did not reach home until it had subsided. Thus was the city depriv- ed of the services of six physicians, at a time when all would have been inadequate to the demand, to say nothing of the indisposition of many which seriously impaired their effi- ciency. The panic excited by the sudden irruption of the epidem- 4