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DISEASES
 Might be helpful when reading old death certificates


Ablepsy -      Blindness 
Ague -      Malarial Fever 
American plague -    Yellow fever 
Anasarca --  Generalized massive edema 
Aphonia --   Laryngitis 
Aphtha ---   The infant disease "thrush" 
Apoplexy --  Paralysis due to stroke 
Asphycsia/Asphicsia --  Cyanotic and lack of oxyge 
Atrophy --  Wasting away or diminishing in size.
 

Bad Blood --  Syphilis 
Bilious fever -- Typhoid, malaria, hepatitis or elevated temperature and bile  emesi 
Biliousness --  Jaundice associated with liver disease 
Black plague or death --  Bubonic plague 
Black fever -- Acute infection with high temperature and dark red skin lesions and high mortality rate. 
Black pox -- Black Small pox 
Black vomit --  Vomiting old black blood due to ulcers or yellow fever 
Blackwater fever -- Dark urine associated with high temperature 
Bladder in throat --  Diphtheria (Seen on death certificates) 
Blood poisoning --  Bacterial infection; septicemia 
Bloody flux -- Bloody stools 
Bloody sweat -- Sweating sicknes 
Bone shave --  Sciatica 
Brain fever --  Meningitis 
Breakbone -- Dengue feve
Bright's disease -- Chronic inflammatory disease of kidneys 
Bronze John --  Yellow fever 
Bule -- Boil, tumor or swelling
 

Cachexy -- Malnutrition 
Cacogastric --Upset stomach 
Cacospysy --  Irregular puls 
Caduceus --  Subject to falling sickness or epilepsy 
Camp fever -- Typhus; aka Camp diarrhea 
Canine madness --  Rabies, hydrophobia 
Canker --  Ulceration of mouth or lips or herpes simplex 
Catalepsy --  Seizures / trances 
Catarrhal --  Nose and throat discharge from cold or allergy 
Cerebritis --  Inflammation of cerebrum or lead poisoning 
Chilblain -- Swelling of extremities caused by exposure to cold 
Child bed fever --  Infection following birth of a child 
Chin cough -- Whooping cough 
Chlorosis --Iron deficiency anemia 
Cholera  -- Acute severe contagious diarrhea with intestinal lining sloughing
Cholera morbus -- Characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, elevated temperature, etc. Could be appendicitis. 
Cholecystitus -- Inflammation of the gall bladder 
Cholelithiasis -  Gall stones
Chorea -- Disease characterized by convulsions, contortions and dancing
Cold plague --  Disease characterized by convulsions, contortions and dancing 
Colic -- An abdominal pain and cramping
Congestive chills --  Malaria 
Congestion --  Any collection of fluid in an organ, like the lungs 
Congestive chills --   Malaria with diarrhea 
Congestive fever --    Malaria 
Consumption=Tuberculosis or T.B.
Corruption --   Infection
Coryza --  A cold 
Costiveness -- Constipation 
Cramp colic --  Appendicitis 
Crop sickness --  Overextended stomach
Croup ---  Laryngitis, diphtheria, or strep throat 
Cyanosis --  Dark skin color from lack of oxygen in blood 
Cynanche --   Diseases of throat 
Cystitis -- Inflammation of the bladder
 

Day fever --   Fever lasting one day; sweating sickness 
Debility -- Lack of movement or staying in bed 
Decrepitude -- Feebleness due to old age 
Delirium tremens -- Hallucinations due to alcoholism 
Dengue --  Infectious fever endemic to East Africa
Dentition --  Cutting of teeth 
Deplumation -- Tumor of the eyelids which causes hair loss
Diary fever -- A fever that lasts one day 
Diptheria -- Contagious disease of the throat 
Distemper --  Usually animal disease with malaise, discharge from nose and throat, anorexi
Dock fever -- Yellow fever
Dropsy -- Edema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease
Dropsy of the Brain -- Encephalitis
Dry Bellyache ---   Lead poisoning
Dyscrasy --   An abnormal body condition
Dysentery -- Inflammation of colon with frequent passage of mucous and blood
Dysorexy -  Reduced appetite 
Dyspepsia -- Indigestion and heartburn. Heart attack symptoms 
Dysury --  Difficulty in urination
 

Eclampsy -- Symptoms of epilepsy, convulsions during labo 
Ecstasy -- A form of catalepsy characterized by loss of reason 
Edema --  Nephrosis; swelling of tissues
Edema of lungs --Congestive heart failure, a form of dropsy 
Eel thing --   Erysipelas
Elephantiasis --   A form of leprosy
Encephalitis --  Swelling of brain; aka sleeping sickness
Enteric fever --  Typhoid fever
Enterocolitis --  Inflammation of the intestines
Enteritis --  Inflation of the bowels
Epitaxis --  Nose bleed
Erysipelas -- Contagious skin disease, due to Streptococci with vesicular and  bulbous lesion
Extravasted blood --  Rupture of a blood vessel
 

Falling sickness -- Epileps
Fatty Liver -    Cirrhosis of liver
Fits --  Sudden attack or seizure of muscle activity
Flux -- An excessive flow or discharge of fluid like hemorrhage or diarrhea
Flux of humour -- Circulation
French pox -   Syphilis
 

Gathering --   A collection of pu
Glandular fever - Mononucleosis
Great pox --     Syphilis
Green fever / sickness --  Anemia
Grippe/grip --  Influenza like symptoms
Grocer's itch --Skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour
 

Heart sickness --  Condition caused by loss of salt from bod
Heat stroke -- Body temperature elevates because of surrounding environment emperature and body does not perspire to reduce temperature. Coma and death result if not reversed.
Hectical complaint -- Recurrent fever
Hematemesis -- Vomiting blood 
Hematuria --  Bloody urine
Hemiplegy --   Paralysis of one side of body
Hip gout --  Osteomylitis
Horrors --   Delirium tremens
Hydrocephalus--  Enlarged head, water on the brain
Hydropericardium -- Heart dropsy
Hydrophobia -- Rabies
Hydrothroax ---  Dropsy in chest
Hypertrophic -- Enlargement of organ, like the heart
 

Impetigo - Contagious skin disease characterized by pustules
Inanition --   Physical condition resulting from lack of food 
Infantile paralysis -- Polio
Intestinal colic --  Abdominal pain due to improper diet
 

Jail fever --   Typhus
Jaundice --  Condition caused by blockage of intestines
 

King's evil --berculosis of neck and lymph glands
Kruchhusten --  Whooping cough

Lagrippe --   Influenza 
Lockjaw --Tetanus or infectious disease affecting the muscles of the neck and jaw. Untreated, it is fatal in 8 days 
Long sickness --Tuberculosis
Lues disease --   Syphilis
Lues venera - --  Venereal diseas
Lumbago --  Back pain
Lung fever --- Pneumonia
Lung sickness -- Tuberculosis
Lying in -- Time of delivery of infant
 

Malignant sore throat --     Diphtheria
Mania --  Insanity
Marasmus --   Progressive wasting away of body, like malnutrition
Membranous Croup -- Diphtheria
Meningitis --   Inflation of brain or spinal cord 
Metritis -- Inflammation of uterus or purulent vaginal discharge
Miasma --  Poisonous vapors thought to infect the air
Milk fever --  Disease from drinking contaminated milk, like undulant fever or  brucellosis
Milk leg --   Post partum thrombophlebitis
Milk sickness --  Disease from milk of cattle which had eaten poisonous weeds
Mormal --  Gangrene
Morphew --  Scurvy blisters on the body
Mortification --  Gangrene of necrotic tissue
Myelitis --    Inflammation of the spine
Myocarditis -- Inflammation of heart muscles
 

Necrosis --  Mortification of bones or tissue
Nephrosis --   Kidney degeneration 
Nepritis --   Inflammation of kidneys 
Nervous prostration --  Extreme exhaustion from inability to control physical and  mental activities 
Neuralgia --  Described as discomfort, such as "Headache" was neuralgia in  head 
Nostalgia --   Homesickness

Palsy --  Paralysis or uncontrolled movement of controlled muscles. It was listed as "Cause of death". 
Paroxysm--  Convulsion 
Pemphigus-- Skin disease of watery blisters 
Pericarditis --  Inflammation of heart 
Peripneumonia --   Inflammation of lungs 
Peritonotis --   Inflammation of abdominal area 
Petechial Fever --   Fever characterized by skin spotting 
Puerperal exhaustion --    Death due to child birth 
Phthiriasis -- Lice infestation 
Phthisis --   Chronic wasting away or a name for tuberculosis 
Plague --  An acute febrile highly infectious disease with a high fatality rate 
Pleurisy -  Any pain in the chest area with each breath 
Podagra --    Gout 
Poliomyelitis --   PolioPotter's asthma - Fibroid pthisis 
Pott's disease --   Tuberculosis of spine 
Puerperal exhaustion --   Death due to childbirth 
Puerperal fever --  Elevated temperature after giving birth to an infant 
Puking fever -      Milk sickness 
Putrid fever ----     Diphtheria.
 

Quinsy -    Tonsillitis.
 

Remitting fever --     Malaria 
Rheumatism --  Any disorder associated with pain in joints 
Rickets -   Disease of skeletal system 
Rose cold --    Hay fever or nasal symptoms of an allergy
Rotanny fever --     (Child's disease) ???
Rubeola --     German measles 
 

Sanguineous crust -- Scab 
Scarlatina --  Scarlet fever
Scarlet fever--   A disease characterized by red rash 
Scarlet rash --    Roseola 
Sciatica --   Rheumatism in the hips 
Scirrhus --    Cancerous tumors 
Scotomy ---     Dizziness, nausea and dimness of sight 
Scrivener's palsy --      Writer's cramp 
Screws ---    Rheumatism 
Scrofula --   Tuberculosis of neck lymph glands. Progresses slowly with  abscesses and pistulas develop. Young person's disease. 
Scrumpox --     Skin disease, impetigo 
Scurvy --  Lack of vitamin C. Symptoms of weakness, spongy gums and hemorrhages under skin 
Septicemia --    Blood poisoning 
Shakes --   Delirium tremens
Shaking ---  chills, ague 
Shingles --   Viral disease with skin blisters and nerve pain 
Ship fever ---  Typhus
Siriasis- -    Inflammation of the brain due to sun exposure 
Sloes ----   Milk sickness 
Small pox --    Contagious disease with fever and blisters 
Softening of brain-    Result of stroke or hemorrhage in the brain, with an end result of the tissue softening in that area. 
Sore throat distemper-- Diphtheria or quinsy 
Spanish influenza ---    Epidemic influenza 
Spasms -  Sudden involuntary contraction of muscle or group of muscles,  like a convulsion 
Spina bifida---    Deformity of spine 
Spotted fever ---   Either typhus or meningitis 
Sprue ---  Tropical disease characterized by intestinal disorders and sore  throat 
St. Anthony's --- Also erysipelas, but named so because of affected skin areas  are bright red in appearance 
St. Vitas dance ---Ceaseless occurrence of rapid complex jerking movements  performed involuntary. 
Stomatitis --     Inflammation of the mouth 
Stranger's fever --      Yellow fever
Strangery --     Rupture 
Sudor anglicus --    Sweating sickness 
Summer complaint ---Diarrhea, usually in infants caused by spoiled milk 
Sunstroke --   Uncontrolled elevation of body temperature due to environment heat. Lack of sodium in the body is a predisposing cause 
Swamp sickness --     Could be malaria, typhoid or encephalitis 
Sweating sickness --- Infectious and fatal disease common to UK in 15th century 
 

Tetanus ---   Infectious fever characterized by high fever, headache and  dizziness 
Thrombosis --- Blood clot inside blood vessel 
Thrush --Childhood disease characterized by spots on mouth, lips and throat 
Tick fever --    Rocky mountain spotted fever 
Toxemia of pregnancy -    Eclampsia 
Trench mouth ---  Painful ulcers found along gum line, Caused by poor nutrition and poor hygiene 
Tussis convulsiva --     Whooping cough
Typhus --  Infectious fever characterized high fever, headache, and dizziness 

Variola --  Smallpox 
Venesection ---   Bleeding 
Viper's dance --   St. Vitus Dance
 

Water on brain --      Enlarged head 
White swelling --   Tuberculosis of the bone 
Winter fever --    Pneumonia 
Womb fever ---     Infection of the uterus. 
Worm fit-    Convulsions associated with teething, worms, elevated temperature or diarrhea

Yellowjacket--  Yellow fever. 
 

Submitted by Jeannie Travis

 



 

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