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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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During a few weeks of our stay in Bahia, we tried hard to get reliable weather information for the entire year. Mr. Bivar, the only one among our acquaintances who had made a note of meteorological observations, can only give us general news, since he had given his tables to S. A. Prince Maximilian von Neuwied. He assured us that the temperature at sunset during the rainy months, September to March, is from 17 ° to 18 ° R., while in the dry months, is between 16 ° to 17 ° R. In the midday, we generally observed the temperature of 24 ° R., and at dusk, at the top of Passeio Publico, the barometric height at 28,7.5 lines. During the day the city is quickly and strongly heated by the cloudless sun; and then in the rainy season a torrential rain falls almost always after noon; mornings and afternoons, while the sea breeze blows, are cool, while the evenings are warmer again.

These temperatures are according to the layout of the city, whose highest part is always much cooler than the much lower beach, an inducement for respiratory illness. This is why catarrhal diseases and rheumatisms predominate, and there are many more cases of diarrhea, hydrops and tuberculosis than in any other city in Brazil. The general habit of treating the slightest indisposition by resorting to a strong decoction of quinine, the so-called English water, which is imported from Portugal in large numbers, is the cause of frequent inflammations that, with a simple lemonade could be healed. Tuberculosis is very acute and often contagious. The painful eruption, the scabies (Ecthyma vulgare, according to Dr. Bateman) is also very common here, and it is particularly torturing newcomers from Europe, due to the strange food, heat and colds. In addition to these diseases, various forms of rash are observed in hospitals (strophulus confertus, lichen pilaris, ichthyosis, achores, herpes zoster and phlyctaenodes, elephantiasis, and raspberry, etc.). Elephant feet and boils appear mainly in blacks, but less frequently than in Rio de Janeiro. Typhoid fevers are rare; nosocomial typhus has not yet appeared here, although many people who work in the streets, chained or deported as slaves to Wales, to Goa, Angola and Mozambique, are casually admitted to the Military Hospital, where they could easily spread such a disease. These sick people, sometimes up to a hundred, are treated in supervised rooms, and enjoy less light and healthy ventilation than the others, whose rooms are spacious, dry, and clean. In total there are about 200 hospital beds occupied. As for the zeal and punctuality of doctors, this leaves much to be desired, as

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