Worksheet 2



19 AD

The Diseases

Read & Write

1 (Chapter 2) What was the first sign that something was wrong with Nora McMahon?

2 (Chapter 2) What colour were the blotches on her legs?

3 (Chapter 3)  Did Nora McMahon die of Yellow Fever, or of Black Fever?

4 (Chapter 3) What do you think happened to the children's father?

5 (Chapter 7) Which fever did Daniel get?

Fact File

Typhus Fever (The Black Fever) was caused by lice from an infected person. the face swells and he turns a black colour which gave typhus the name of black fever. The patient's temperatures rises, in a severe case the limbs twitch violently, he raves in a delirium, has a spotted rash, acute pains, vomits. There was always an appalling smell from the patients. Typhus almost always killed.
Relapsing Fever (The Yellow Fever) was also transmitted by lice. The patient has a high fever and vomiting and the skin turned yellow. People often had several relapses after they seemed to be cured.
Both of these diseases spread fast because of the over-crowding and filthy conditions in which the people lived.


Draw a picture of a Victorian doctor.


Make a list of diseases that people get nowadays. Talk about which ones
might kill you, which ones would kill you and which ones are just a nuisance.


Imagine going into a small, overcrowded, one-roomed cabin in the west of Ireland. Write a description of what you might see there.

There was a doctor in Kilfenora, called Edmond Armstrong, who was Medical Attendant (doctor for the poor people) during the time of the famine. He died in the year 1852 aged 73 years. Write a description of a day in his life during the the cold, snowy winter of 1847.