Welcome User!
Case Study

A Case of Recurrent Pyrexia 
Burnett Compton J.
` Nat-m.

While in Calcutta, John H, a 29 years old seaman, had fever and ague two or three times a day with watery vomiting in Sept. 1977. Hence, he was admitted to the Calcutta Hospital for three weeks and was given certain emetics, tonics and quinine. He was cured of the complaints after three weeks and was discharged.

On his voyage home to Liverpool, which is a five months journey by sea he had another attack. During the first three months of his journey home he had two, three, four, five attacks a week and took a great deal of powder from the Captain which from his description was probably Cinchona bark after which the fever left him and the following condition ensued.

Pain in the right side under the ribs, cannot lie on the right side. Both calves painful to touch, were hard and stiff. The left leg was semiflexed and he could not stretch it.

He was in this condition for two months at sea and two weeks ashore. He came in this condition hopping with the help of a stick and in great pain from the motion.

Urine - muddy red.
Bowels - regular
Skin - tawny
Conjunctiva - yellow. 
Thirst - Drinks about three pints of beer daily.

I recommended him not to alter his mode of life till he is cured and also to drink less beer. The former part of the recommendation he followed, as I learned from his brother but for the latter I have no information.

Treatment & Follow-up:

21st April 1878 - This was a case of ague suppressed with Cinchona. Therefore he was given Natrum mur 6 trit, six grains in water every four hours.

27th April - Pain in side and legs was gone in three days and the water cleared at once. However, the pain returned on the fourth day in the left calf which today is red, swollen, pits and painful. He however walks without a stick.

The medicine was continued.

4th May - feels well. Very little pain in the calf while walking. Walked easily without support of the stick.

He thinks he had a cold shake a few nights ago. He continues to perspire.

The medicine was continued.

11th May - Quite well - no medicine.
20th July - Doing well - no medicine.

The last two weeks reports were obtained from his relatives as he thinks it is not necessary to come and seem me as he was well.

Considering that the patient had been a fortnight here on shore before coming to me, it is not probable that his rapid cure after taking Natrum-mur was due to the climate. However this is the weak point of the case if any.

The patient and doctor both ought to think that the medicine caused cure. Others may think differently.

It is to be noted that the salt provisions and sea air during voyage did not cure it.

Reprint from - Best Of Burnett by Chitkara

Extract of Burnetts Writings Published in 1933.