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[Ragsorters' Disease-150 years ago a new, today a vanished occupational disease in Austria].

Authors
  • Flamm, Heinz1
Type
Published Article
Journal
Wiener medizinische Wochenschrift (1946)
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2020
Volume
170
Issue
3-4
Pages
76–87
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10354-019-00731-3
PMID: 31912381
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
German
License
Unknown

Abstract

In 1870 17 women who were engaged with shredding and sorting rags in a Lower-Austrian papermill fell ill with a highly febrile lung affection; nine of them died. Hitherto this illness was not recognised as a separate disease, the "Ragsorters' Disease". The rags were used garments and household textiles collected mostly in eastern countries as well as used contaminated bandages of hospitals. The manipulation with the rags produced much dust which was inhaled by the women, provoking some different illnesses, including the Ragsorters' Disease. Mostly without prodromes a heavy lobar or lobular pneumonia with atelectasis and oedematous softenings of the lung tissue. Histologically impressive were masses of bacteria on and between the epithelia cells and inside the walls of the alveoli. The bacteria were diagnosed as Bac. anthracis.The Ragsorters' Disease could be restrained by technical improvements and disinfection. Finally, it was extinguished by the replacement of rags by woodpulp.

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