Title:
A Historical Vignette (15) Be proud of yourself: you have a History! The nose and the plague
Authors:
J. Tainmont
Institutions:
Winston Churchill Avenue 172, P.O. Box 9, 1180 Brussels, Belgium
Keywords:
Pages:
195 - 202
Abstract:
The nose and the plague. Although the plague does not cause any specific nasal pathology, the miasma theory and the repulsive smell of the disease were factors that contributed to a strong emphasis on the nose. To stop the spread of the disease, it was thought necessary to saturate the nose with protective scents (hence the nose of the plague doctors) (Figure 1), or simply to hold one’s nose. Moreover, the nose was long considered to be an outlet for mucus from the encephalon, and so induced nose bleeding and sneezing were advised when the plague seemed to be attacking the brain.
Issue:
Vol. 5, 2009, 3rd trimester


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A Historical Vignette (15) Be proud of yourself: you have a History! The nose and the plague