Description of disease :
A peculiar inflammation of the mucus membrane of the throat, which is accompanied by the production of a false membrane – patches of grey or wash-leather)like spots which deposit on the tonsils, and which are small at first, but gradually increase and threaten suffocation. The disease is attended with great prostration. It usually sets in with shivering and great depression, dryness and tingling in the throat, difficulty of swallowing, vomiting, and sometimes headache. The tongue is loaded, but there is no active fever.
Belladonna, Mercurius cyan. have been found most useful at the commencement; an experienced physician should be instantly summoned.
Dose. -Two drops of Belladonna alternately with two drops of Mercurius Cyan. every two, three or four hours, as soon as the premonitory symptoms are observed.
Mercurius iodatus is sometimes sufficient in bad throat cases which resemble but differ inessential characteristics from true diphtheria, either in alternation with Belladonna or alone.
Dose. -Two grains every two, three or four hours. -See Belladonna.
The throat must be gargled with glycerine, or glycerine and water, or the glycerine may be applied freely to the throat with a camel’s-hair pencil. The diet must be of the most nourishing and concentrated kind, and frequently given. It should consist of strong beef-tea, essence of meat, eggs and milk beaten together, oyster broth, pieces of oysters, wine-whey, etc. Great cleanliness lust be observed with all spoons, forks, etc., after being used by the patient. These should be placed in some disinfectant previously o washing, and the house and room should be freely ventilated and disinfected. (See under Disinfectants). All drains should be examined and defects therein at once remedied.