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House - A Pox On Our...

The episode title is a take on the phrase "A plague o' both your houses" (often quoted as "A pox on both your houses"), which is spoken by the character Mercutio in the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.

House - A Pox on Our...

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Family members who have never had chickenpox have a high chance of becoming infected when another family member in the house is infected. The illness is often more severe in adults compared to children.

If someone in your household has chickenpox, you can help stop the virus spreading by wiping any objects or surfaces with a sterilising solution and making sure that any infected clothing or bedding is washed regularly.

Most parents who think they didn't have chicken pox as a child had a mild case. Only 4% of adults are not protected, meaning most of us have had chicken pox. If you as a parent lived in the same household with siblings who had chicken pox, consider yourself protected.

Precautions should be taken when administering the pox vaccine as it is a live type of virus vaccine. Because the pox vaccine produces a mild form of the disease, only healthy birds should be vaccinated. It is strongly recommended that all chickens in a house be vaccinated on the same day. The vaccine must be applied only to the vaccination site, and precautions taken to prevent contamination of other parts of the chicken, the premises and the equipment. Mosquito control should also be part of the preventive program.

The Molecular Infectious Disease Lab (MIDL) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is now offering in-house monkeypox polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic testing for Vanderbilt University Medical Center patients who are eligible.

The in-house test detects monkeypox virus, the only currently circulating poxvirus. The test performs well and can detect monkeypox virus from swabs obtained from skin vesicles or other anatomic sites.

On December 4, 1760, the town of Durham announced the completion of their hospital house. An outbreak of disease the year prior had prompted its construction. In November of 1759, John Jones, a Durham resident, contracted smallpox a disease for which was there was no known cure. At the time, isolation from other community members was seen as the only recourse to prevent the rapid spread of the contagion and the entire Jones family was removed to an old barn on the southern edge of town.

Jones, his wife and daughter all died and were buried a month after being infected, and their house on the Town Green was torn down the following spring. On April 14, 1760, the town voted to build a hospital to provide a place of quarantine against future outbreaks. Located northwest of Pisgah Mountain near Cream Pot Road, a simple clapboard structure was constructed measuring 20-feet wide and 30-feet long with a fireplace and well. The Pest House served the town until the 1790s, and records indicate that during its operation 31 people with the disease were buried in the area, away from official town cemeteries. Currently, only one gravestone remains to mark the history of smallpox in Durham: that of Timothy Hall who died in July 29, 1775.

There are two primary diseases that we see in our area. The first is conjunctivitis, also known as house finch eye disease, which is most common among House Finches and usually appears as swollen or crusty areas primarily around the eyes. This occurs sporadically among House Finches at all times of year, and can infrequently appear among other finch species. The less common avian pox has similar symptoms, affects the same birds, and should be responded to in the same way.

The new venereal plague affected social life. Public bath-houses almost disappeared (leading to lower standards of personal hygiene), the common drinking-cup and easy kissing fell from favour; mistrust made friends and lovers nervous of each other and More's Utopians urged engaged couples to inspect each other's nakedness and not to risk dying of ignorance: 'when buying a horse you make sure there are no sores beneath its saddle'.

Fracastoro, the poet, sought to avoid the usual tame repetitions of Ovidian formulas. He wanted a fresh theme and a new myth, and these he found for his Syphilis 'a divine poem by the most outstanding poet since Virgil' (Scaliger). Dedicated to his Venetian friend, Pietro Bembo, it is arguably the most famous of all Renaissance Latin poems. Yet he was not the first poet to treat the subject, for at least seven or eight others had already done so, including Sebastian Brant who published his De pestilentia scorra eulogium in Basle in 1496. Fracastoro, the physician intrigued by the new disease, and the poet seeking novel themes, was well placed in Rome, then a clearing house for geographical gossip and rumour. He could not, for instance, have avoided knowing Peter Martyr's Newsletters from the Indies (to which Leo X was so publicly addicted) and perhaps also saw the manuscript Latin poem, Itinerarium, of Alexander Geraldini, Bishop of Santo Domingo.

His medical counterpart in England, William Clowes, reported (1579) that the disease was as rife there 'as in America or Naples': he claimed that in the city of London he had cured over 1,000 sufferers in St Bartholomew's Hospital alone. Convinced that ignorance kills but alarmed at his own temerity, he defended himself for publishing in the vernacular with a suitably sanctimonious 'Epistle to the Reader' of his Treatise. The disease, 'a notable testimonie of the just wrath of God and a staine upon the nation' was due to 'beastlie disordered rogues, vagabonds, and the many Alehouses'. He prayed the magistrates, 'God's second line of surgeons', to be a 'terrour to the wicked', and presumably also to the sick. (Clowes' use of the term morbus gallicus is the first recorded in England.) 041b061a72


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