« PreviousContinue »
FATAL PLAGUE THREATENS WHOLE WORLD
made of e blood and be the spread beyond
had established on the mainland beyond their crews. Such noted experts as Nathe fly zone, to confine the spread of the barro, the Frenchman, a world authority disease. Blood and back-bone tests were and student of sleeping sickness, doctors made of every inmate, the work requiring Dutton, Todd, and Sir David Bruce have months. None of the Baganda seemed all been in the Congo region and have affected, judged by their appearance— found that much of it has been desolated but this parasite works in secret. Nearly by the sleeping sickness. Yet the fly half the natives were stricken.
which carries the disease has been found England's Sleeping Sickness Commis- at all the river landings and many of the sion is in Uganda. That is why the negro cargo handlers are known to have trypanosome, as science calls it, is sup- been bitten by it. The fly can easily posed by the outside world to be limited conceal itself on vessels for European to a small part of Africa, because the re- ports, as it lights on the Congo canoes ports of the Commission refer only to the and other small craft carrying rubber to curse in the British African colonies. the sea coast. What it may mean to the But here is what the men who have been world, considering the way in which it following its advance have found—men can be distributed, is shown by this warnwho have traced it half-way around the ing from Doctor Nabarro: "There are world. Guerin, the famous Frenchman, several species of Aies that may propalocated 148 victims marked for death gate the trypanosome, and the possible among the blacks of Martinique, in the results of the infection both in Africa and West Indies. Steamers ply regularly be- out of it are too appalling to contemtween this island and New York City. plate." And here is the startling predicTwo white passengers on a steamship running between the Congo River and London, were taken sick on a return voyage of the vessel. The ship's surgeon treated them for African fever, but without any effect. They were taken to the Charing Cross Hospital on arrival at London. As luck would have it one of the hospital staff had been in service at a detention camp. He noticed a sign of the disease-neck glands swollen. To make sure, he drew some blood from each. The lens showed it to be alive with trypanosomes. Both victims died within six months after reaching Charing Cross.
For over a thousand miles up the Congo River steamers manned by Belgian officers go up and down from the coast, getting cargoes for ocean liners that discharge at European ports. The native crews of the boats help unload the cargoes on the LABORATORY FOR THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF THE SLEEPING SICKNESS steamships and mingle with
IN THE UGANDA COUNTRY.
tion of Sir David Bruce, one
Nabarro can well say what of the pioneers in the
he does, for no other man war of medicine against
of science has found sleeping sickness, who
the disease in SO has chanced death
many places in Affor years in his de
rica or has so awakvotion to what is his
ened the whites of life work.
that continent. He "While so far it
has devoted most has claimed com
of his life to trying paratively few
to conquer the inwhite victims, not
visible thing — a only do the blacks
fight which has become infected,
showed his rebut all who get it,
markable courage die of it. Can the
—for to discover a civilized world
remedy he must realize what terri
spend years in the ble sacrifice of hu
region now known man life might enTHE COURAGE OF THE WHITE RACE.
to be deadly to sue if the sleeping Sir David Bruce, an English scientist and fighter of the
black or white. He sickness should
has gone into the contrive to steal
worst plague spot across to Euro
of the infested Afpean, American, or Asian shores? Such rica, the Congo Free State, from whence disaster is not impossible and is proved came the death fly to Uganda, when Emil by the fact that often cases have not Pasha's Soudanese soldiers, corrupt and developed until months after any possi- diseased, entered the country and left a bility of infection, and by further fact trail of fire and blood behind. Worst of that it is not yet definitely known that the all, however, Aies, traveling with the mosquito or some other flying insect than caravan, infected the people and the rapid the tsetse may not communicate the dis- spread of this latter curse caused more ease. If the world knew what we know, permanent harm than the immediate ravscientific columns would be hastening to ages of the vandal horde. the front from all the Great Powers bent As yet the investigators have not found on a joint assault of the enemy before it where the Soudan negroes caught the was too late."
complaint. Most of them think it was in Not only Bruce, but Nabarro, Todd, the Congo, and had good reason for it. Koch, Hodges, Kopke, Martin, Hardy When the would-be life-savers, came to and Klein, and other world-known medi- enter some of the towns, in the Congo cal savants have taken the death chance Free State, they found every native, to and are among the little band on the the youngest child, helpless or dead, as very front of the fighting line, hopeless was the case at Bouma and Tombo. In as yet of relieving the victims of the the country
south as far as trypanosome, but strug
de Loando their gling to prevent further inroads on mankind.
FATAL PLAGUE THREATENS WHOLE WORLD
report shows that the tsetse
eel, but lightning can be no
quicker than its swift-
Congo River from
ENLARGED MICRO PHOTOGRAPH OF THE SLEEPING SICK
AMONG THE CORPUSCLES IN THE BLOOD.
system, and thus the fatal sleeping sickness results.
to Bolobo, a dis- sys
Lighting on the tance of 750 miles,
skin so softly that and for 250 miles the country traversed the victim knows nothing of its presence by the Bambia River has been left deso- unless he sees the fly, it pierces the skin late. . The half million deaths in Uganda with its borer. The wound is so trivial are but a fraction of the number of vic- that it inflicts no pain. Through this the tims as sleeping sickness has been found trypanosome passes into the body. Once in an area reaching 1,500 miles north inside it works its way into the nearest and south and about the same distance artery. It then breaks into halves and east and west.
two of the parasites have taken the place In a drop of human blood may be of the one. Both divide again and again darting hither and thither thousands of so it multiplies until over a million may trypanosomes. This means death in six be churning the blood and the liquid that months, a year—perhaps longer, but the surrounds the spinal cord, within twentyend is sure after trypanosomes have been four hours after the fly has bitten. forced into the body as the fly carrier These human reservoirs of trypanosomes injects them into the hole first bored become spreaders of the disease if a fly through the skin. The wonderful vision again feeds on them, and it is believed of the lens has caused the eye to see that any winged insect which may pierce them in life though the size is so small as the skin, the mosquito, for instance, can to be beyond calculation. This fatal extract these death-dealing parasites, and parasite looks somewhat like a fat-bodied thus the disease may spread to an untold extent, as Bruce and Nabarro
the harder he works. On the have predicted.
banana plantations in southern The doctors have forced
Africa, he makes a sound, arsenic into the blood of the
harsh, weird, but it is his victims and they have dis
music. When a negro is appeared. Some may have
silent it means that somebeen poisoned, but after a
thing within is wrong. This month or so, not longer
was one way in which the than six months, the blood
doctors found the sleeping tests show that they are
sickness where there was again at work and as nu
no other sign. When the merous as before if not
song stops he seems to get more so. No other remedy
lazier and lazier. His save arsenic has had any
vigor has gone. As he effect whatever, and that is
walks he staggers. After only temporary. England,
a while he may crawl, no Germany, Belgium,
strength in his legs to supFrance have sent their
port his body. Now most noted disease
the neck glands stick experts to stay the
out against the skin plague. Dr. Seaman,
swelled with the our own authority
parasites, his eyelids on yellow fever,
half close over the who, to prove his
dimmed eye balls. mosquito theory, WHERE THE DISEASE IS RAPIDLY NEARING THE END. He is a picture of a
Note the look of patient despair on this negro's fea-
stand or change his position without aid.
victims of the fever
ing into an unnamhad died the same
able thing, and as he day, has also been through Africa's grows weaker and weaker, the face bemorass and jungle and risked his life, comes more and more distorted. You but today he admits that not one thing see hatred, sullenness, the glare of a known will kill all these parasites after wounded wild beast in it. That wriggler they have entered the body of man. The in his blood, unknown to him, is slowly physicians, the bacteriologists are as far deadening brain as well as body. More away from removing this curse upon and more he becomes like a chained anihumanity as they were when its ravages mal in his contortions and struggles. The were first discovered.
stronger the victim the longer he resists, The black man is the happiest of human but finally his efforts cease. Limbs and beings. He lives on life's sunny side, arms are bent at the knee and elbow and for he does not know what sorrow become rigid. The dull, fixed, halfand trouble mean. Singing is as natural closed eyes have no movement and their to him as eating and the harder he sings, stare gives a horrible expression to the FATAL PLAGUE THREATENS WHOLE WORLD
diles sunthe body is
ning themlife, the
selves. Upon heart is beat
the blood ing, the
filled flesh stomach can
lining of digest food,
their open but the out
jaws were side is dead.
sucking The invisible
sw arms murderer at
of tsetses. last has en
This fact is tered the
believed to spinal canal
have been and has mul
settled: no tiplied in it.
fly causes Paralysis
death unless ANOTHER GREATLY ENLARGED MICRO-PHOTOGRAPH OF SLEEPING has the vicSICKNESS PARASITES.
it has bitten tim in its They resemble "fat-bodied eels."
an animal or grip. But
man infected months, even
by the parayears may
site, but it pass and still the heart beats, though the has a variety of prey to feed upon. thing is blind, dumb, immovable. It has Eight species of tsetses spring from no pain. It has no feeling. A torpor larvae buried in the mud banks of has enveloped it. Not a sound can it streams. The one that menaces human utter. At last the death sign comes. life is the Glossina Palpalis. The animal The head of the patient—who is gener killer is the Glossina Morsitans. When ally propped up against a wall or post- they have sucked the blood filled with bends forward, at first only an inch or so. trypanosomes, they may have enough to The neck muscles are weakening. Lower last them sixty-six days. During this it falls until the chin rests on the breast. time, man, woman or child, or brute on The heart beats fainter and slower—and which it lights, may become its victim. stops. The trypanosomes have finished It lurks in the grass and flowers of the their work. He is a cadaver-infected swamp, will fly sometimes a hundred with the parasites which have killed him, miles in a day as shown by tracing one. and a thing of death should the tsetse The Palpalis has been found and killed bore into the body. Cremation or burial in cars on trains on the Uganda railoccurs at once.
road which The tsetse looks
reaches from like our house fly
Lake Victhat has been
toria 500 accused of
m i les so many
through a crimes. In
tled part of it is harm
British Afless. Blood
rica, proving is the food
the predicof the fly
tions of and it makes
those huntno difference
ing for it what it bites.
that no one On the UP
knows today per Nile, Dr.
where it may Nabarro
go, as its sa w croco
THE TSETSE FLY IS BELIEVED TO SECURE THE FATAL PARASITE BY
FEEDING ON THE CROCODILE AND OTHER ANIMALS,