First Medical Pamphlet
The first medical pamphlet published in the United States was written by a Boston minister/doctor to address the smallpox epidemic that ravaged the New World in the 17th century. The Rev. Thomas Thacher penned, "A Brief Rule to Guide the Common People of New England how to Order themselves and theirs in the Small Pocks or Measels." In the treatise, published in Boston, Mass., on this date in 1677, Rev. Thacher advises the sick to "abstein (abstain) from Flesh and Wine, and open Air, let him use small Bear warmed with a Tost (toast) for his ordinary drink, and moderately when he desires it." His recommended diet for smallpox patients consisted of water-gruel, water-pottage, boiled apples and milk, none of which should "manifest a hot quality." Rev. Thacher died the year after the pamphlet was published at the age of 58. The cause of death was not reported.
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