Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Mysterious Itch

November 19, 1862

The Mysterious Itch

   Disease is a major problem in this war. People die everyday while coughing up blood and sweating like pigs. That is no secret. The big secret in the medical tents right now is the horrifying medical mystery that is the Army Itch. We don't know what it is, and we are no closer to finding out what this is then the first time it occurred. 
      The Army Itch was nicknamed by the soldiers for the terrible itch it causes in the skin. It also caused men's skin to swell and blister, to the point where they would have many sores and painful, puss filled lacerations. Some men's hands swelled so bad that their fingers couldn't touch. This disease wasn't fatal, except it caused great suffering throughout the soldiers because it resulted in great pain and uncontrollable itching. There is nothing to cure it, because to cure the disease, we would have to know what the disease was in the first place.
      The biggest outbreak of the Army Itch was this year in the Potomac Valley in Maryland. It caused terror throughout the valley because no one knew what was happening or how to stop it. We still have no idea what is causing it and what is spreading it. Until then, surgeons must just try to stop the spread of the disease and try to make the sick soldiers as comfortable as possible.  We will report more as it resurfaces.

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