Posts tagged propaganda

Know Your Enemies!

1. The tick! - Ticks encountered in Europe transmitted Rickettsia, Lyme Disease (different from US Lyme Disease and rare), Tick-Borne Meningoencephalitis, Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. In the Pacific, a hemorrhagic fever related to yellow fever could be contracted.

2. The body louse! - TYPHUS! Death from typhus! Epidemic typhus occurs almost every time there is mass civil unrest, wartime conditions, or natural disasters forcing people together, even though endemic typhus no longer exists. The body louse can also cause “trench fever” and louse-borne relapsing fever.

You HAVE to get rid of (or at least control) these guys if you want to win any war. Otherwise you’ll have incapacitated or dead soldiers before you even set foot on the battlefield. Getting rid of the body louse (and typhus) was especially important.
As the German army invaded Russia during WWII, the multitude of problems they already had was compounded by the fact that they kept getting waves of deaths due to typhus. When Napoleon retreated from Moscow in 1812, more soldiers died of typhus than were killed in combat. And, of course, millions died of typhus in the Nazi concentration camps, including Anne Frank, and her sister Margot.

Posters from the Otis Archives of the National Museum of Medicine.

1938 Anti-Venereal Disease WPA poster

1938 Anti-Venereal Disease WPA poster

Poster promoting getting screened for TB from 1935. TB often took months to years to manifest noticeable symptoms in healthy people in their prime, but they were still contagious even before any symptoms showed. By getting screening and treatment when they had any TB at all (before symptoms occurred), they protected those around them and prevented problems in the future.

Poster promoting getting screened for TB from 1935. TB often took months to years to manifest noticeable symptoms in healthy people in their prime, but they were still contagious even before any symptoms showed. By getting screening and treatment when they had any TB at all (before symptoms occurred), they protected those around them and prevented problems in the future.

Syphilis was still treated with mercury through WWII. Pfizer developed effective deep-tank fermentation methods for large-scale production of penicillin between 1942 and 1944, but the first acid-stable (so it could get through the stomach) penicillin for oral administration wasn’t developed until 1952.

Syphilis was still treated with mercury through WWII. Pfizer developed effective deep-tank fermentation methods for large-scale production of penicillin between 1942 and 1944, but the first acid-stable (so it could get through the stomach) penicillin for oral administration wasn’t developed until 1952.

Anti-Venereal disease propaganda-style poster during the second World War.

Anti-Venereal disease propaganda-style poster during the second World War.