Cholera Symptoms and Treatment

“Although some who contracted the disease lingered for many days, it usually struck suddenly, and often the victim was dead within hours, usually after ‘great agony.’ Diarrhea was such a common forerunner of cholera that many emigrants speak of death by cholera of diarrhea as if they were synonymous. Sore throat, vomiting, and bowel discharge seemed to be the most common symptoms. . . . An illuminating account of cholera symptoms and treatment is given by Dr. Lord of New York:

The cholera is a rapidly fatal disease, when suffered to run its course unrestrained, & more easily controlled then most diseases when met in time. . . . It commences with diarrhoea in every case. A single dose of laudunum, with pepper, camphor, musk, ammonia, peppermint or other stimulants usually effect a cure in a few minutes. If pain in the bowels was present, another dose was required. If cramp in the calves of the legs had supervened, a larger dose was given. If skin had become cold, and covered with sweat (which did not happen unless the disease had run several hours or days) the doses were frequently repeated until warmth was restored. The medicines were aided by friction, mustard plasters, and other external applications. If to all these symptoms vomiting was added, there was no more to be done. Vomiting was the worst symptom, and every case proved fatal where vomiting, purging, cramp and cold sweating skin were present . . . ‘”