DENGUE, s. The name applied to a kind of fever. The term is of West Indian, not East Indian, origin, and has only become known and familiar in India within the last 30 years or more. The origin of the name which seems to be generally accepted is, that owing to the stiff unbending carriage which the fever induced in those who suffered from it, the negroes in the W. Indies gave it the name of ‘dandy fever’; and this name, taken up by the Spaniards, was converted into dengy or dengue. [But according to the N.E.D. both ‘dandy’ and ‘dengue’ are corruptions of the Swahili term, ka dinga pepo, ‘sudden cramp-like seizure by an evil spirit.’] Some of its usual characteristics are the great suddenness of attack; often a red eruption; pain amounting sometimes to anguish in head and back, and shifting pains in the joints; excessive and sudden prostration; after-pains of rheumatic character. Its epidemic occurrences are generally at long intervals.

Omitting such occurrences in America and in Egypt, symptoms attach to an epidemic on the Coromandel coast about 1780 which point to this disease; and in 1824 an epidemic of the kind caused much alarm and suffering in Calcutta, Berhampore, and other places in India. This had no repetition of equal severity in that quarter till 1871–72, though there had been a minor visitation in 1853, and a succession of cases in 1868–69. In 1872 it was so prevalent in Calcutta that among those in the service of the E. I. Railway Company, European and native, prior to August in that year, 70 per cent. had suffered from the disease; and whole households were sometimes attacked at once. It became endemic in Lower Bengal for several seasons. When the present writer (H. Y.) left India (in 1862) the name dengue may have been known to medical men, but it was quite unknown to the lay European public.

1885.—THE CONTAGION OF DENGUE FEVER. “In a recent issue (March 14th, p. 551) under the heading ‘Dengue Fever in New Caledonia,’ you remark that, although there had been upwards of nine hundred cases, yet, ‘curiously enough,’ there had not been one death. May I venture to say that the ‘curiosity’ would have been much greater had there been a death? For, although this disease is one of the most infectious, and as I can testify from unpleasant personal experience, one of the most painful that there is, yet death is a very rare occurrence. In an epidemic at Bermuda in 1882, in which about five hundred cases came under my observation, not one death was recorded. In that epidemic, which attacked both whites and blacks impartially, inflammation of the cellular tissue, affecting chiefly the face, neck, and scrotum, was especially prevalent as a sequela, none but the lightest cases escaping. I am not aware that this is noted in the text-books as a characteristic of the disease; in fact, the descriptions in the books then available to me, differed greatly from the disease as I then found it, and I believe that was the experience of other medical officers at the time…. During the epidemic of dengue above mentioned, an officer who was confined to his quarters, convalescing from the disease, wrote a letter home to his father in England. About three days after the receipt of the letter, that gentleman complained of being ill, and eventually, from his description, had a rather severe attack of what, had he been in Bermuda, would have been called dengue fever. As it was, his medical attendant was puzzled to give a name to it. The disease did not spread to the other members of the family, and the patient made a good recovery.—Henry J. Barnes, Surgeon, Medical Staff, Fort Pitt, Chatham.” From British Medical Journal, April 25.

DEODAR, s. The Cedrus deodara, Loud., of the Himalaya, now known as an ornamental tree in England for some seventy-five years past. The finest specimens in the Himalaya are often found in clumps shadowing a small temple. The Deodar is now regarded by botanists as a variety of Cedrus Libani. It is confined to the W. Himalaya from Nepal to Afghanistan; it reappears as the Cedar of Lebanon in Syria, and on through Cyprus and Asia Minor; and emerges once more in Algeria, and thence westwards to the Riff Mountains in Morocco, under the name of C. Atlantica. The word occurs in Avicenna, who speaks of the Deiudar as yielding a kind of turpentine (see below). We may note that an article called Deodarwood Oil appears in Dr. Forbes Watson’s “List of Indian Products” (No. 2941) [and see Watt, Econ. Dict. ii. 235].

Deodar is by no means the un iversal name of the great Cedar in the Himalay. It is called so (Dewdar, Diar, or Dyar [Drew, Jummoo, 100]) in Kashmir, where the deodár pillars of the great mosque of Srinagar date from A.D. 1401. The name, indeed (devadáru, ‘timber of the gods’), is applied in different p arts of India to different trees, and even in the Himalaya to more than one. The list just referred to (which however has not been revised critically) gives this name in different modifications as applied also to the pencil Cedar (Juniperus excelsa), to Guatteria (or Uvaria) longifolia, to Sethia Indica, to Erythroxylon areolatum, and (on the Ráví and Sutlej) to Cupressus torulosa.

The Deodár first became known to Europeans in the beginning of the last century, when specimens were sent to Dr. Roxburgh, who called it a Pinus.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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