Online Exhibits@Yale

Dysentery

Dysentery, Asiatic Cholera and Exanthematic Typhus

From: Hyacinthe Vincent. Dysentery, Asiatic Cholera and Exanthematic TyphusLondon, 1917.

In addition to nervous disorders classed generally under the heading of shell-shock, Sir Arthur Hurst identified a number of infectious diseases commonly seen in the military.  Dysentery, in both amoebic and bacillary forms, was one of the most prevalent afflictions.   Hurst claimed ameobic dysentery to be unusual in Europe until British soldiers at Gallipoli brought it with them, probably from Egypt, in 1915; the infection was spread by flies and deposited on food, and contamination was spread easily through ineffective hygiene.  Gastric pain and chronic diarrhea are the typical indicators of dysentery and, if treated promptly, would rarely result in fatalities.  Many of the cases of amoebic dysentery, however, were followed by secondary infections of amoebic hepatitis and liver abscess, which could result in chronic ill health for months or years after the initial infection.

Dysentery