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 Dubuque County, Iowa  

 Miscellaneous File


1882 Case of Black Measles in Cascade
Dubuque Herald
Sept 19, 1882

Submitted by Nancy Coleman

It seems that the family of William McGovern, living a few miles from Cascade, had become afflicted with a disease which the physicians subsequently pronounced as black measles, and on Monday four members of the family, all stalwart sons, who had attained the stage of manhood, died of the dread affliction. While the corpses were at the Cascade Catholic Church awaiting the burial services, a messenger arrived from the home of the family, stating that the fifth son had died of the same disease. The number of people who attended the funeral, with utter recklessness of the danger of spreading the disease maybe estimated when it is known that the procession was three miles in length.

Note: black measles, a rare, severe, often fatal, form of measles in which hemorrhage into the skin lesions and mucous membranes is associated with a sudden rise in temperature, convulsions, delirium, stupor, coma, and marked respiratory distress. Called also hemorrhagic m., or Rocky Mountain Fever.

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