On the other hand, not a few disorders proved to be alien to classes to which narrower views of causation had referred them; of such are tabes dorsalis, neuritis, infantile palsy or tetanus, now removed from the category of primary nervous diseases and placed in one or other of the class of infections; or, conversely, certain forms of disease of the joints are now regarded with some certainty as members of more than one series of diseases chiefly manifest in the nervous system.
In infantile palsy, for example, and in tabes dorsalis, there is good reason to believe of that, definitely as the traces of the disease are found in certain physiologically distinct nervous elements, they are due nevertheless to toxic agents arriving by way of the blood.
In India it is used as an insectifuge, and is administered in infantile diarrhoea.
The age is noted for its chronicles, beginning with the anonymous life of the Portuguese Cid, the Holy Constable Nuno Alvares Pereira, told in charming infantile prose, the translated Chronica da fundirao do moesteyro de Sam Vicente, and the Vida Fernao Lopes (q.v.), the father of Portuguese history and author of chronicles of King Pedro, King Ferdinand and King John I., has been called by Southey the best chronicler of any age or nation.
That infantile paralysis is an infection, and that its unhappy sequels are now treated with more hope of restoration, has been indicated already.
At the same time, where the range is very wide, as between the rates in Scandinavia and Australia, and those in southern and eastern Europe, the variation, to a great extent, cannot be accounted for otherwise than by difference in hygienic conditions, more especially in the light thrown by the figures of infantile mortality in the second part of the table.
The ghastly roll of infantile mortality was quickly purged of its darkest features (Ballard and others); aided by bacteriology, sanitary measures attained some considerable degree of exactness; public medicine gained such an ascendancy that special training and diplomas were offered at universities; and in 1875 a consolidated act was passed for the United Kingdom establishing medical officers of health, and responsible lay sanitary authorities, with no inconsiderable powers of enforcing the means of public health in rural, urban, port and other jurisdictions, with summary methods of procedure.
Over a period of a week, the tactics had gone from infantile to novice to advanced, as if someone were learning the intricacies of battle planning.