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THEBAL XlWLCANIC SERIES OF
May. It was a remarkable feature in this epidemic that THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1889.
two fleets which left Portsmouth about the same time were attacked by influenza at sea about the same day, though they had no communication with each other or with the
shore. THE EPIDEMIC OF INFLUENZA.
There were many epidemics in the first half of this F FOR the first time after an immunity of nearly half century; and the most important of them showed a simi
a century, our country is again threatened with lar course and geographical distribution. In 1830 started in epidemic of influenza. The accounts we receive of a formidable epidemic, the origin of which is referred to epidemic illness in Russia, in Germany, and last of all China, but which at all events by the end of the year had in Paris, seem to make its irruption here every week more invaded Russia, and broke out in Petersburg in January imrament. The question will, however, naturally be asked 1831. Germany and France were overrun in the spring, by the public, whether there is any real ground, in the and by June it had reached England. Again, two years buttory and in what is known of the nature of the disease, later, in January 1833, there was an outbreak in Russia, for such an apprehension? Is it a disease really brought which spread to Germany and France successively, and from a distance? Is it anything more than the general on April 3, the first cases of influenza were seen in our prevalence of catarrhal affections, of colds and coughs, metropolis; "all London," in Watson's words, “ being whuck the time of year, and the remarkably unsettled smitten with it on that and the following day.” On weather we have lately experienced, make readily ex this same fateful day Watson records that a ship applacable without any foreign importation? Indeed, is proaching the Devonshire coast was suddenly smitten influenza, after all, anything more than a severe form of with influenza, and within half an hour forty men the fashionable complaint of the season?
In 1836 another epidemic appeared in To answer the last question first, and so to put it by, Russia ; and in January 1837, Berlin and London there can be little doubt that influenza is a distinct, were almost simultaneously attacked.
Ten years Specir affection, and not a mere modification of the later, in 1847, the last great epidemic raged in cuinmon cold. The grounds for this belief cannot be our own country, and was very severe in November, fully stated here, but may be gathered by reference to having been observed in Petersburg in March, and having the descriptions of the disease as seen in former out- prevailed very generally all over Europe. breala by physicians of the older generation ; for instance, Some of these epidemics are believed to have travelled y Sir Thomas Watson in his classical “Principles of still further westward, to America ; but the evidence on Hayac," or the late Dr. Peacock in his article in Quain's this point seems less conclusive. Without entering on * Iretionary of Medicine."
further historical details, and without speculating on the These symptoms, the history of the disease, and its nature of the disease, we may conclude that these Lstribution, all justify us in treating it as a distinct and broad facts are enough to show that a more or less rapid specific disease, which when it is prevalent will rarely be extension from east to west has been the rule in most of 12. etaken, though, with regard to isolated and sporadic the great European epidemics of influenza ; and that cises, difficulties of diagnosis may arise. About its therefore its successive appearance in Russia, Germany, Mature, or its affinities with other diseases, it is unne- and France, makes its extension to our own country in the cessary to speculate. It will be sufficient to inquire what highest degree probable. its recorded history in the past justifies us in expecting as There are, it is true, certain facts on the other side, but Is its behaviour in the future. There are few cases in they appear much less cogent. Since our last great visitawhich history proves so important an element in the tion, certain epidemics of influenza have been recorded scientific conception of a disease as it does in that of on the Continent which have not reached our shores. influenza
. For hardly any disease shows a more marked One was that of Paris in 1866-67 ; another at Berlin in tendency to occur in epidemics—that is, in outbreaks 1874-75, of a disease described by the German doctors atrictly limited in point of time. After long intervals of as influenza, and of great severity, affecting all classes of inaction or apparent death, it springs up again. Its society. But in all epidemic and even contagious chrocology is very remarkable. Though probably occur diseases there are outbreaks which seem to be self-limited ning in Europe from very early times, it first emerged as from the first, showing no tendency to spread. This has a definitely known historical epidemic in the year 1510. been notably the case with plague and cholera. On the Since then, more than 100 general European epidemics other hand, when an epidemic shows an expansive and have been recorded, besides nearly as many more limited progressive character, it is impossible to predict the extent
certain localities. Many of them have in their origin to which it may spread. And the present epidemic, it and progress exhibited the type to which that of the pre- must be confessed, appears to have this expansive sent year seems to conform. We need not go further character. back than the great epidemic of 1782, first traceable in Many interesting points are suggested by this historical Russia, though there believed to have been derived from retrospect. What is the meaning of the westward spread Assa
. In St. Petersburg, on January 2, coincidently of influenza, of cholera, and other diseases? Is it a uniworth a remarkable rise of temperature from 35° F. below versal law? To this it must be said, that it is by no freezing to s above, 40,000 persons are said to have means the universal law even with induenza, which has been simultaneously taken ill. Thence the disease spread spread through other parts of the world in every kind of brer the Continent, where one-half of the inhabitants were direction, but it does seem to hold good for Europe, at supposed to bave been affected, and reached England in least in the northern parts. The significance of this law, VOL XLI.-No. 1051.
as of the intermittent appearances of influenza, probably the epidemic became noticeable in Petersburg, where is that this is in Europe not an indigenous disease, but according to a correspondent of the British Medical one imported from Asia. Possibly we may some day Journal, it began on November 15 or 17, though track it to its original home in the East, as the old plague sporadic cases had undoubtedly occurred earlier. In the and the modern cholera have been traced.
beginning of December it was already widely spread As regards, however, the European distribution of influ- throughout Russsia, and, as it would seem from the putsenza, it has often been thought to depend upon the pre- lished accounts, must have been in Berlin about the valence of easterly and north-easterly winds. There are same time. In Paris the first admitted and recorded many reasons for thinking that the contagium of this cases occurred about December 10, though doubtless disease is borne through the air by winds rather than by there were cases before that date. Both public am human intercourse. One reason for thinking so is that private accounts report it exceedingly prevalent there it does not appear to travel along the lines of human com- now. In London, notwithstanding the abundance of munications, and, as is seen in the infection of ships at colds and coughs, and the mysterious rumours whick sea, is capable of making considerable leaps. The have been afloat, it appears to the present writer doute. mode of transmission, too, would explain the remarkable ful whether any cases of true influenza have yet OCCURTER. facts noticed above of the sudden outbreak of the disease But according to its apparent rate of progress, it migži
. in certain places, and its attacking so many people simul- if coming from Paris, have already arrived bere ; and it may taneously, which could hardly be the case if the infection be breaking out even while these lines are going through the had to be transmitted from one person to another. press. But, on the whole, one would be disposed to give
Another important question, and one certain to be often the epidemic another week or two. If its distribution asked, is suggested by the last-namely, whether influenza depends, as it seems to do, on the winds, it is impuris conta gious. During former epidemics great care was sible to prophesy with much plausibility. A steady breze taken to collect the experience of the profession on this setting in from one of the affected places might bring us point, and its difficulty is shown by the fact that opinions an invasion in a very short time; but the current of an were much divided. Some thought the disease could be would have to be continuous over the whole district transmitted by direct contagion, while others doubted it. Light local winds, whatever their direction, would, if tše But there was and is a general agreement that this is not hypothesis be correct, have little effect. On the other the chief way in which the disease spreads, either in a hand, a steady frost, with an "anticyclone" period, migb: single town, or from place to place.
effectually keep off the disease. If, then, there is any. We must avoid the fascinating topic of the cause of thing in the views above stated, prophecy belongs rather influenza, or our limits would be speedily outrun. But to the province of the weather-doctors than of the medical one simple lesson may be drawn from the facts already doctors. mentioned-namely, that the disease is not produced by Should the prospect seem a grave one, it may be some any kind of weather, though that, of all possible causes of consolation to remember that an epidemic of influenza disease, is the one most often incriminated in this coun- rarely lasts more than a few weeks-three to six—in one try. It is true that some of our worst epidemics have place; that it is rarely a fatal disease, though affecting occurred in winter, but several have happened in summer ; large numbers of people ; and that the present epidemic and the disease has been known in all parts of the world, seems to have displayed on the Continent a decidedly in every variety of climate and atmospheric condition ; mild type, which, according to the general rule, it is so that it is certainly not due to a little more or less of likely to retain. heat or cold, moisture or dryness. Its constancy of type, the mode of its transmission, its independence of climatic and seasonal conditions, all suggest that its cause is
THE HORNY SPONGES. “specific,"—that is, having the properties of growth and A Monograph of the Horny Sponges. By Robert von multiplication which belong to a living thing.
Lendenfeld. (London: Published for the Royal Society Whether the disease affects the lower animals is not by Trübner and Co., Ludgate Hill, 1889.) absolutely certain, but the
human epidemic has
Challenger, three horses of a very similar disease. It is pretty well known most important monographs of the sponges belonging to that such a disease is now very prevalent among horses the groups of the Hexactinellida, Monaxonida, and the in London. Nearly three weeks ago, one of the railway Tetractinellida have been published, nor must the valuable companies in London had 120 horses on the sick list, contributions by Poléjaeff to the history of the remaining and the epidemic is still by no means extinguished. To groups, Calcarea and Keratosa, be overlooked. The a certain extent this must be taken as prognostic of human Calcarea had the advantage of having been already influenza.
monographed by Haeckel, and so there only remained It may be asked, if the influenza is really to come, can the Horny Sponges to be fully described, in order that we form any notion how soon it is likely to appear?' On the natural history of the sponges should be up to date. such a point little beyond speculation is possible, for the Such a work has now been accomplished-thanks to rate at which the disease travels is extremely variable. the liberality of the Royal Society-by the labour apk Generally, it has taken some weeks, or even months, scientific skill of Dr. Robert von Lendenfeld. This mona to traverse Europe, but occasionally much less, as, for graph forms a fine quarto volume of over 900 pages, with instance, in 1833, when it appeared to travel from Berlin an atlas of fifty lithographed plates. to Paris in two days. It is now barely a month since While a student at the University of Graz, Lendenseliti
J. F. P.
alle us, his time was chiefly spent in the zoological labor- with notes on the histology and physiology; the affinities Lory of Prof. F. E. Schulze, then engaged on those re- of the genus ; statistics of the species, with a key thereto, earches on the natural history of sponges with which and details of distribution. Doubts must of necessity as game will ever be associated. This led him to take a arise as to the exact limits that each author would ascribe pecul intest in the group, and to work out its history, to the species described by him, and in doubtful cases of rs in the Mediterranean, and then at Melbourne and this sort Dr. Lendenfeld has adopted the plan of placing ener places on the southern coast of Australia-a coast no authors' names after them, but gives a full list of aceedingly rich in organisms of this class. From Mel- synonyms; we think it a pity that in these lists the memoirs, burne, New Zealand was visited, and the Christchurch instead of being quoted, are simply referred to by numnd Dunedin collections were examined. Next, that ap- bers, for the explanation of which one must refer to the srent El Dorado of the spongologist, Sydney, was ex- bibliographical list. Pored, and, thanks to the splendid liberality of Sir It is in the synthetical part, in which the general reViliam Macleay, Lendenfeld was enabled to establish sults are discussed, that the chief interest of this work
laboratory at the water-edge, and to study in a very lies, at least for the general reader. Here we have the borough manner the sponges of this district.
questions of the general structure and evolution of sponges With such abundant material, and with such ready as a group considered, and their classification and syscip, nothing was wanting to work out the structural his- tematic position discussed ; and finally, as the fashion ory of the species of the group. But to describe and of some authors is,“ an ancestral tree of the families” name them, reference to type specimens was, above all is given. Starting with the story of the metamorphic things, necessary, and these latter were to be found most development of sponges, we find the primitive sponge coateniently in the British Museum ; thither, therefore, defined as consisting of a simple ento- and ectoderm, Lenienfeld came, early in 1886, at first resolved to write and a thin mesoglea-a very primitive mesoderm-bete account of the Australian Horny Sponges ; but for tween the two. Dr. Lendenfeld thinks that it is now pamately finding, during the progress of this work, that generally acknowledged that the Physemaria, which u great a proportion of the known forms were Austra- Haeckel considered as “Gastreaden der Gegenwart,” are kao, he determined to make a complete monograph of not sponges at all, but Protozoa, so that they need not le graup, and hence the volume which we proceed to here be taken into account. Of course, it is evident that sctice.
the views about these Physemarias, held at present by This motograph of the Horny Sponges is divided into Haeckel, were, at the time of his thus writing, untrece parts: (1) an introduction, containing a brief his known to Dr. Lendenfeld. The modified Gastræa is mical summary and a detailed list of publications relat- traced onwards in its development, and the morphology py to sponges ; (2) an analytical portion, devoted to the of the adult structures are passed under review; their systematic description of all the known Horny Sponges; I want of symmetry—and the exceptions are but few-is and 3) a synthetical part, in which the anatomy and noted. None of the Horny Sponges are green ; blue is pbynology of sponges, especially of Horny Sponges, are
never observed in the group, the range of colour being teated, and their phylogeny, systematic position, and from light yellow to dark brown, light to dark red, and Lássarication discussed.
light to a dark, almost black, violet ; the colour is lost in all, Of the very extensive and scattered literature relating with a few exceptions, such as in Aplysilla violacea, when to the sponges, a most excellent bibliography is given ; the sponge is preserved. The Horny Sponges would the papers are arranged alphabetically under their authors' seem never to imitate their surroundings in colour, but bairnes, but the publications of each author are given it is suggested that in some cases the intense vivid hronologically, the number of pages in each memoir is colours may have the effect of frightening their enemies. fren, but, unfortunately, no reference is made to illustra
An attempt is made to account for the shape of the Luna; abstracts and translations of papers are always sponge conuli as the result of two pressure forces and to rooted.
express this by formula. The biological student will Considering the genus as “the important unit,” the scarcely be grateful for this, and is likely to be bewildered talytical part consists essentially of a series of mono- when he reads that “the conuli are hyperbolic rotatory maphs of the genera of Horny Sponges, but “species” bodies, formed by the rotating of the hyperbola, la such are described ; and the author has “done his * to make the different species equivalent,” though
y = (x)/(t + t. 2), he has been difficult of achievement. In those cases here he has felt compelled to establish varieties, he has round an axis parallel to the direction of pressure through blowed the plan of E. Haeckel and F. E. Schulze, and the summit of the conulus.” The canal system is delas dwided the whole species into the requisite number scribed in some detail, the author not confining himself Icyávalent varieties." The total number of the species to the Horny Sponges. In contrasting this system in the Lad varieties described amounts to 348, of which no less Hexactinellida and the Hexaceratina, there seems some hun 358 have been found in the Australian area. little confusion as to the comparative “ tenderness" of the It would not be possible
, within any reasonable space, structures. The absence of spicules (siliceous) in the me any zatisfactory details of the analytical portion fibres is considered as the characteristic feature of the
this monograph. The descriptions of each genus are Horny Sponges, which distinguishes them from their youped into-an historical introduction ; a sketch of the siliceous ancestors; but in the superficial fibres of Aulena, Lapt, sze, colour, surface, and rigidity characteristic of echinating proper spicules occur; in the ground subhe group; an account of the canal system, skeleton, stance of several genera of Spongeliadæ, microsclera are