Illnesses of Long Ago

As is known, terms for certain items change over time. This is especially true for health and medical conditions.

If you come across a listing of a illness / sickness an ancestor suffered from or one they died from, you will want to know what the present-day name is. There are some really strange names for illnesses or medical conditions known by another name today.


Epitaxis – Nose bleed

Grippe/Grip – Influenza-like symptoms

Lying In – Time of delivery of infant

Pericarditis – Inflammation of the heart

Rose cold – Hay fever or nasal symptoms of an allergy

Stranger’s fever – Yellow fever

Thrush – Childhood disease characterized by spots on mouth, lips and throat

Water on brain – Enlarged head

Here is an online link “Old Names of Illnesses” to a site with listings of such medical conditions and what they are. Also this medical site “The Learning Center” on names of old illnesses.  

Photos: Cholera epidemic in Alabama; poster for Coca-Cola as a brain tonic, and Tuberculosis wards.

Related Blogs:

Illnesses and Causes

Our Brave Ancestors

Strange Cures Once Used

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