” Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.” It is well known that peculiar diseases belong to peculiar climates. Thus, for example, consumption is the most prevalent disease in Britain, the New England States of America and nearly the whole of New York State; the young and the lovely are its victims, and it leaves its impress on some families for generations. The tender plant grows up in loveliness and beauty, but just when the bud is ready to burst forth and bloom, there comes the chilling frost of consumption, and the expanding leaves and bud begin to droop and decay. It spares no rank, yea, rather those who are blessed above others, and more exempt from common troubles on account of their wealth, are more olten the victims than the children of the poor. On this account, its general prevalence, and deceptive character, it has received more attention from medical men than any other disease. Its local causes have long been understood, but the remedies suggested are exceedingly numerous. Many patients linger so long and hope so much, that quackery with its brazen front has found an ample field for pandering to the hopes and credulity of the weak. In general, respectable physicians have counselled a change of climate, and invalids from the Northern States have generally gone to the Southern States, and the West Indies ; those of England went to the South of France or Italy. Lately, some English physicians have come out against a change of climate, especially a mere change from a cold to a warm region, asserting that some warm regions are more dangerous to invalids than their own cold native hills and valleys. Dr. Burnett, of Boston, has written an able article on this subject to the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, in which he attributes the prevalence of consumption in the New England States to the intemperate changeable climate, the tendency of which is to produce disease in the pulmonary organs. The only season of the year when the climate is favorable to lung diseases is during the month of September, and the first part of Oct., when the air is warm, dry, and quiet. It has been customary for Northern invalids who went South to return when benefitted. In general, all who did so have been re-attacked, and finally carried off (sometimes very suddenly). From statistics and information which Dr. Burnett has been collecting, he has come to the conclusion that consumptive invalids, to be permanently benefitted by a change of climate must go South and make their home there. They must also go there in the early stage of the disease, for when too weak they but leave home to die. The climate of Greenville, in South Carolina, and some parts of Georgia is exceedingly favorable to those laboring under this disease; in summer the temperature rarely exceeds 90°, and is free from sudden changes. Dr. Burnett is of the opinion that the American States possess a variety of climate and advantages for this disease, far superior to those of Europe, and as the people of England—those possessed of wealth are becoming dissatisfied with Italy and Madeira, it is not improbable that with the present rapid Atlantic steam communication, our country may soon become the home of many of the noblest and most wealthy of her inhabitants. If they are wise for themselves they will make at once for a new Mid a better home on the western continent.
This article was originally published with the title "The Effect of Climate on Health—Consumption"