6 votes
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How do we know that the Spanish flu was an influenza?

Because we know its genomic sequence. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2720273/: Using fixed and frozen lung tissue of 1918 influenza victims, the complete genomic sequence of the 1918 ...
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4 votes

Efficiency of mercury in syphilis treatment

We don't have any controlled trials but the physicians of the time greatly doubted the efficacy of mercury salves and inhalation LW Harrison, a medical officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps ...
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  • 13.2k
4 votes

Whatever happened to Tonsillitis?

There is an excellent wikipedia page about the the procedure called tonsillectomy: "Although tonsillectomy is performed less frequently than in the 1950s, it remains one of the most common surgical ...
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  • 6,777
3 votes
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Could lithium be considered alternative medicine historically?

Alternative medicine is medicine that is outside the standard of care and typically has no strong evidence for effectiveness beyond placebo effects. If there is sufficient scientific evidence that a ...
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  • 12.2k
3 votes
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Consumption and Tuberculosis

Yes, TB can affect bones (in extrapulmonary or more precisely osteoarticular TB), but that form is relatively rare nowadays [even more so in the West], and even rarer for the sternum to be affected. ...
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  • 5,813
2 votes
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What does it mean to die from midbrain congestion?

Although I doubt that term would be applied to a suicide in a modern country, death records can be unreliable in other times and other cultures when suicide was involved. 100+ years ago suicide was ...
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  • 9,435
1 vote
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Have there been any medically verified records of individuals with parts of their bodies paralyzed for years that eventually got healed?

TL;DR: Yes, but it's extremely rare and I could only find one example. You asked: Has there ever been a medically verified case of someone having a big part of their body paralyzed for years, due to ...
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1 vote
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In medieval times, how were twins detected?

Without ultrasound you’d discover by palpation - feeling the abdomen. Each baby has two poles - the head and the bottom. If you can feel three clearly separate poles there must be at least two ...
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