Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group
This is the third in a series of pieces by Pam Tice about buildings no longer standing in the Bloomingdale neighborhood; it was also the subject of an October 5, 2015, BNHG presentation by medical historian Bert Hansen, Professor at Baruch College, part of the BNHG’s series on medical institutions in our neighborhood. Dr. Hansen’s book is listed in the “Sources” section below. The book received awards by the American Library Association and by the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association.
Our thanks to Dr. Hansen for reading our draft and suggesting changes.
Written by Pam Tice, member of the BNHG Planning Committee
Until the late 19th century, a dog bite was one of the most fearful things that could happen to you. If the dog were rabid, and you showed symptoms, you were sure to die a painful death. An infectious disease in mammals, rabies (lyssavirus) is transmitted through the saliva just a few days before death when the animal “sheds” the virus. Because it affects the central nervous system, most rabid animals behave abnormally. The disease still exists in the United States today, especially in the northeast in raccoons, but most dogs today are vaccinated. Humans, if thought exposed, can get a treatment far easier than the one first devised.