• U.S.

Medicine: Seasick Milwaukee

1 minute read

Last week 120,000 inhabitants of Milwaukee, one-fifth of the city’s population, were ill with what Health Commissioner John Peter Koehler called intestinal influenza. Symptoms: severe abdominal pains, accompanied by nausea or vomiting. Only one victim died. Another victim was Dr. Koehler himself. Said he: “Ninety-five percent of the cases are very mild. I don’t believe the disease is any more dangerous than seasickness.”

Dr. Koehler at first believed that the epidemic was due to polluted drinking water. Unfavorable currents had driven the city’s sewage toward its water-supply cribs set out in Lake Michigan several miles offshore. Dr. Koehler urged all householders to boil all their drinking water. Finally he decided that drinking water had nothing to do with the intestinal disease. What the cause, what the cure, he last week had no idea.

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