GWL 4th July 1917

Salonica.  Your birthday is being celebrated by an eclipse of the moon.  Very fine it is.  The moon is not quite dark and you get a very good idea of it buzzing away out there.  Please thank Thain for the poem.  To-day we got two new hens.  We now have an egg each for tea.  Got a bit of fever to-day, but I think I have managed to drown it in quinine.  It is really rather a question which is the worst – the quinine or the fever.

I don’t seem to get on much with the Braille.  I think it is a thing you want to spend some time at consecutively.  Colonel Burges posted the mosquito nets to me. They are awfully nice; and thank you so much.  The small cats spend most of their time climbing up them.  Good luck to you on your birthday.  The sweet corn in the parcels is awfully good.”

George describes the symptoms of relapsing malaria probably acquired in China before the War.  However both Allied and Axis troops in the Macedonia campaign were devastated by epidemics of malaria throughout the War with at any one time up to 25% of the forces immobilised.  In the two years from October 1916  there were 162,517 cases in the British forces with 787 deaths directly attributable to Malaria.  However the chronic anaemia associated with relapsing malaria meant that the outcome from military wounds was more likely to be fatal.  Treatment was limited to quinine and the mainstay of management was mosquito eradication.

Ref: Malar J. 2014; 13: 497.

{next post 7th July}

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