The Healer and the Pirate

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tropics Made Safer; Baking Soda

I rarely think about how antibiotics have changed the world--back before World War II in particular, illnesses which are easily treated today would lay people out for weeks or even kill them.

American Scientists Find Remedies For Dysentery and Leprosy.

Manila, (By Mail) to United Press.--Dr. Lim Boon Keng, president of the new university at Amoy, told the American chamber of commerce here today that the work of the American scientists in Manila has opened the tropics to the white man. These men evolved treatments for amoebic and bacillary dysentery which have removed the dread of those diseases in the tropics. He said this work alone justified all the expense on account of the bureau of science, but many other notable things have been achieved by it, for example, spread of general scientific knowledge of the efficacy of Choulmoogra oil in treating leprosy, a task in which Filipinos have assisted.

--Columbia Evening Missourian, Friday, February 24, 1922

Apparently, injections of Chaulmoogra oil (spelled differently in article) were the preferred treatments for leprosy in the 1920s and 1930s. This paper outlines its sounds like the clinical trials were extremely limited. Then again, there weren't so many treatment options back then.

I'm loving the "PHONE: Two Seven Oh!"

--Columbia Evening Missourian, Friday, February 24, 1922

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