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Across Five Aprils CA Option 4

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Nafiul Alam

on 8 April 2015

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Transcript of Across Five Aprils CA Option 4

Hygiene was uncommon. Cleansing items such as soap were scarce, showers weren't daily ("The Civil War: Medicine"), surgeons didn't clean their equipment ("Civil War Diseases"), and people did not understand the necessity of hygiene. People did not think twice about using a pot to clean dirty objects before cooking with it ("The Civil War: Medicine". People didn't even care to wonder of all the germs that could spread from placing fecal matter near water and food. In addition, they were packed together, increasing the contact of disease. This would make hygiene even further necessary, but in fact these conditions caused people to have the habits aforementioned!
Dysentery is an inflammation of the intestines, especially the colon, that causes bloody diarrhea with mucus. This can lead to dehydration if lost fluids are not replaced, causing death ("What Is Dysentery?"). This deadly disease was the leading cause of death for many Civil War soldiers ("The Civil War: Medicine"), with as many as 45,000 Union soldiers and 50,000 Confederate soldiers dead from this disease alone ("Civil War Diseases").
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a lung infection that is caused by many disease types, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi, and leads to inflammation. This can cause the transfer of oxygen to be halted, leading ultimately to death ("What Is Pneumonia?"). This disease caused the deaths of 20,000 Union troops and 17,000 Confederate troops ("Civil War Diseases").
Typhoid Fever
Typhoid is a bacterial infection cased by fecal-contamination of food and/or water ("What Is Typhoid?"). Transmitted by body lice, it can cause a severe fever with intense headaches, rash, and delirium, and was the second most major killer ("The Civil War: Medicine"). 30,000 Confederate and 35,000 Union soldiers died of this disease ("Civil War Diseases").
Dysentery
Lack of Medical Training
There were few trained doctors. In fact, many had no medical experience! All they had was a government-issued medical book. This meant that medical practices that were known were not applied, and false, unhygienic methods were instead carried out. This further increased the problem of disease. The lack of trained doctors led to harmful amputations, and the naive doctors didn't practice hygiene themselves, not even bothering to clean used equipment and adding to the dangers that were already present from disease ("The Civil War: Medicine").
Lack of Medical Supplies
Since the time of the Civil War, we have developed great medicines. We developed the fist antibiotics. We developed new technologies to better carry out procedures and cure diseases. He have been able to implement medical guidelines to ensure hygiene and safety. However, very little of that used to be there during the Civil War. This meant many diseases that we can easily treat today were once life-threatening. This meant many were helpless once infected, and made disease the biggest killer of the war.
Poor Hygiene
Proper Hygiene
Hygiene was a terrible problem. It wouldn't have been if the soldiers had learned hygiene. Of course, the connection of poor hygiene and diseases were unknown ("Civil War Diseases"). However, some things were more sensible. One such thing is the problem of having fecal matter near food and water ("The Civil War: Medicine"). It is obvious that it would not be good to drink water that was in contact with feces. In addition, it is common sense that it would be devastating to let a cut go uncovered. Simple things like these would have cut the death count dramatically.
Medical Training
The US Army hired practically anyone to be a field medic, even if they had no experience whatsoever and no medical knowledge other than a government-issued book ("The Civil War: Medicine"). This is an obvious problem. An inexperienced medic would not be able to make a good amputation or apply proper medical methods. Even worse, these medics knew no hygiene. They could not be expected to cure diseases when they themselves did not know how, and were actually making the disease worse! A simple fix would be to train medics or enlist experienced ones. If we had done so, the death count would be slashed.
What are the Diseases?
What Caused These Diseases?
Preventative Measures That Could Have Saved Lives
Diseases that Killed Civil War Soldiers
By Nafiul Khandaker

Malaria
Malaria is a parasitic infection spread by mosquitoes. The most common symptoms are coughs, pains, and aches, and rarely nervous system issues arise, such as brain impairment ("What Is Malaria?"). A total of 30,000 soldiers died of the disease, although this number is small compared to the number of infected - about 3 million ("Civil War Diseases").
Works Cited
"Civil War Diseases." Civil War Academy American Civil War.
N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2015. <http:/ www.civilwaracademy.com/civil-war-diseases.html>.

"The Civil War: Medicine." (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.
<http://www.civilwar.org/education/pdfs/civil-was curriculum-medicine.pdf>.

"What Is Dysentery?" Medical News Today. MediLexicon
International, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2015. <http:/ www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/171193.php>.

"What Is Malaria?" Medical News Today. MediLexicon
International, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2015. <http:/ www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150670.php>.

"What Is Pneumonia?" Medical News Today. MediLexicon
International, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2015. <http:/ www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/151632.php>.

"What Is Typhoid?" Medical News Today. MediLexicon
International, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2015. <http:/ www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/156859.php>.
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