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Sweating Sickness

The following lines will be dedicated to a very popular illness - sweating sickness. In the 1485, during the rule of King Henry VII, this disease started to show its ugly face. More precisely, this occurred in 28 August and London was struck first. Thousands of people have died due to sweating sickness. This disease stays just for a while, until the end of October, but it took many lives, among which are six council members and three sheriffs. This is the time when the disease got the name sweating sickness. If you came in contact with this disease, you would die in a matter of hours and this was a difference between this disease and all other epidemics and plaques, apart from the strange symptoms it manifested. In the 1507, sweating sickness appeared again but with a lot less casualties. However, then came the 1517 and the worst attack of this disease. But this was overshadowed by the 1528 wave of sweating sickness. It began in London and continued to spread affecting all England, Scotland, Ireland and so on. This made Henry VIII flee from the throne, which further resulted in the disarray of the court. It even appeared in the Europe and took several thousand lives. Sweating sickness was detected in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, while France and Italy never had problems with it. The strange thing about this disease is the short stay of it, after which it disappears, but it kills and spreads very efficiently.


The world has not seen sweating sickness since the year 1551. In this year, it bore names such as "A Boke" and "Sweating Sickness". A known physician John Caius was present and said that it causes apprehension, severe shivers and then faintness and dizziness. The next symptom that would appear is pain in the neck, shoulder and limbs, and at the end, exhaustion would ensue. Cold phase is followed by sweating phase, which occurs after a period from 1 to 3 hours and causes extreme thirst and delirium. Heart pains and palpitations were detected as well. Collapse is the end phase, which causes sleepiness and exhaustion. An affected person would usually die upon falling asleep. England never saw this disease after the 1587. In France, from 1718 to 1861, a Picardy sweat appeared but it caused rash, which wasn’t caused by sweating sickness. Many theories on the cause of this disease exist, but none of them has been confirmed.

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