One of the interesting chapters in the medical history of this country is that concerning the mysterious disease known as milk sickness. In the pioneer days it caused an appalling loss of human life. Some outbreaks swept away a fourth of the population. History and tradition indicate that entire communities were frequently abandoned in frantic fear of this plague. It was one of the serious problems of the early settlers and appears to have been a definite stumbling block to emigration. Since the middle of the last century there has been a marked decrease in the number of cases of milk sickness until today it is relatively rare and few physicians have any first-hand knowledge of the disease. The rarity of the disease in important medical centers, both past and present, probably accounts for the lack of appreciation of its historical importance.
This condition in human beings has always been
BULGER HA, SMITH FM, STEINMEYER A. MILK SICKNESS AND THE METABOLIC DISTURBANCES IN WHITE SNAKEROOT POISONING. JAMA. 1928;91(25):1964–1966. doi:10.1001/jama.1928.02700250028006