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INTRODUCTION. Xiii
mad, and striking itself against the doors and walls of the house, would die. Then
the plague was in the house. If the people at once fled they might be saved; if
they stayed, the whole village was swept away.'
" With reference to the second outbreak which occurred during the period
1683 to 1689, the Gazetteer makes the following remarks : ' For several years
before 1689 the plague, T'un and Wab, was again in Ahmedabad, and lasted for
seven or eight years. The visible marks were swellings as big as a grape or banana
behind the ears, under the arms, and in the groin, and redness round the pupils
of the eyes.' Hirsch repeats the following quotation made by Macpherson
('Annals of Cholera,' London, 1872) from an Indian chronicle which appa-
rently refers to this epidemic : ? fever had prevailed for some years both in the
Deccan and in Gujarat. It consisted of a slight swelling under the ears, or in the
armpit or groin, attended with inflamed eyes and severe fever. It generally
proved fatal in a few hours.' Hirsch remarks that this description is suggestive
of plague.
" It is stated in the Ahmedabad Gazetteer that during the eighteenth century,
though none of the symptoms of the disease are described, there would seem to
have been several outbreaks of a most deadly form of fever. In 1718, a year of
famine, great numbers died of sickness ; in 1770, another famine year, 'on account
of the unwholesomenesa of the atmosphere, thousands of people died of fever in
two or three days, so that no one could be found to bury them.' Fearful disease
is said to have accompanied the 1790 famine. "
The
Gujarat Epide-
mic, 1812-1821.
From the year 1800, however, the sources of information are reliable, and we
have authentic records of at least two great epidemics. The first of these was the
Gujarat epidemic of 1812-1821.
Breaking out first in Cutch in 1812, and spreading thence over Kathiawar,
Ahmedabad, and Southern Sind, it devastated Western India for a period of ten
years. The years 1811 and 1812 were remarkable for a severe famine which
affected the larger portion of Gujarat. It was at the close of this famine that the
Plague appeared in Cutch.
Cutch is said to have lost half its population during this epidemic. Two
Medical Officers, Drs. Gilder and White, visited the country at the time, and
wrote accounts of the disease : and the pneumonic form of plague was now dis-
covered for the first time by Dr. White, who gives the following interesting
description of its symptoms :-
The first notice
of pneumonic
plague.
"In this man the heat of the body was not much increased nor the pulse
" greatly accelerated ; his bowels were not disordered, nor did his tongue
" indicate much febrile irritation. He was able to walk about and converse,
" answering questions distinctly. No person would have thought him in
" danger, but there existed in the patient's mind a degree of alarm and
" anxiety altogether disproportionate to the apparent symptoms. He had
c

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