Minnesota Tales

The St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 14, 1911, p. 4


Patient at City Hospital With Sporatricosis Is One of Few in Local Medical History.


Germ Occurs in Diseased Yeast Plant - Pathologist Preparing Illustrated Monograph.

Sporatricosis, one of the rarest of diseases and the cause of which has only been learned in recent years, is being treated at the City hospital. Physicians from both St. Paul and Minneapolis are intensely interested in the case, and daily many call at the institution to examine Herman Watchman, who is suffering from the workings of the sporothrix germ.

Dr. A. Neeb of the hospital, a student in pathology, is devoting a great deal of time to the case and has had many photographs taken of the patient. They show Watchman in various stages of the disease, and, along with a monograph which Dr. Neeb is preparing, should prove a valuable contribution to medical literature, according to physicians who are watching the case.

Only about one in every ten Twin Cities physicians will venture to define sporatricosis, owing to their unfamiliarity with the disease. But one St. Paul doctor said last night that the following explanation is correct:

"Sporatricosis is a pimply condition of the hands and arms caused by these members coming into contact with a diseased yeast plant. The germ which starts all the trouble is known as the sporothrix. It first works into the hand and then spreads its virus throughout the arm.

"Bakers and persons who handle hides are most subject to it. I believe the man at the City hospital was engaged in the latter business. The disease is quite rare, but not serious. When I was a young physician I was called to treat a similar infection, but in those days I did not know what the disease was, or what caused it. It is only in recent years that this has been determined. The case at the City hospital is attracting a great deal of attention."

Extending from Watchman's left hand to his shoulder is a line of red eruptions. He is in apparently good health, and only awaits the healing of the blotches before he leaves the hospital. The patient seems to take delight in being referred to as "the man with the rare disease."

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