La suette miliaire arrived in the Languedoc Roussillon in the early 1780s.

Already experienced in England and known as the English Sweat or sweating fever, the symptoms of this mysterious and contagious disease (intense sweating, often-fatal fever) were sudden, with death often occurring within hours.

Treatment for this frightening virus ranged from ‘faire baisser la fièvre et réhydrater’ (lower the fever and rehydrate) to ‘une succession d’émétiques (vomitifs), purgatifs (laxatifs) et lavements’ (a succession of emetics (emetics), purgatives (laxatives) and enemas’) and ‘partir vite, loin et revenir tard’,  (‘leave quickly, go far away and return late’), the latter probably being the nearest equivalent to the present day ‘confinement’!

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