‘Make but little change in your usual mode of living. Take nourishing substances and drink plenty of good port and red wine. Do not eat such vegetables that cause flatulency and avoid anything that cause acidity’
Between 1826 and 1837 the world was struck with the second wave of the Cholera. The disease began in India from contaminated rice. This outbreak arrived in the UK at a port in Sunderland from a ship from the Baltics and rapidly spread through the country claiming 55,000 people lives.
In March 1832, The Bath Chronicle printed advice the country had received from Berlin on how to protect oneself from the killer disease.
- Not to be afraid of it but digest yourself of all fear by keeping oneself constantly employed
- Avoid all vexations and other agitations of the mind
- Make but little change in your usual mode of living. Take nourishing substances and drink plenty of good port and red wine. Do not eat such vegetables that cause flatulency and avoid anything that cause acidity.
- Catching a cold is dangerous, especially after meals and after drinking; guard against it and against wet and cold feet. If practical avoid the vicinity of water
- During the time the disease prevails it is recommended to take just before bed a cupful infused with peppermint. Likewise to be taken where there is a rolling or knocking of the stomach
- The adoption of any precautionary measure or as a security is useless and in most cases injurious and detrimental to health. I advise therefore to do no such thing but instead call for a capable medicine man.
- In Berlin we are not of contagion nor is it to be feared, except if the room where the patient lays is filled with unwelcome air when visited by friends
At this time there was little understanding of how cholera spread but it seems Berlin were on the right track when they advised to avoid any vicinity of water. The disease is caused by bacteria that lives in warm salty waters. Contamination to the human is caused by drinking infected liquids, uncooked foods and contact with an infected persons vomit or diarrhoea.
Like the Coronavirus, the government tried to reduce the spread of Cholera by enforcing quarantines and creating local boards of health. Media hype bred fear in the nation, the papers stated that more people were dying in hospitals than in their homes and people began to distrust doctors, thinking the medical profession wanted the deceased bodies for anatomical research.