History of Dermatology and venereology in Serbia - part III/2: Dermatovenereology in Serbia from 1881 - 1918 / Istorija dermatologije i venerologije u Srbiji – III/2: Dermatovenerologija u Srbiji u periodu od 1881. do 1918. godine

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Abstract

Owing to the enforced sanitary laws, the health care service in Serbia evolved systematically till the beginning of the Balkan Wars (1912). At the early phase of this period, in general hospitals dermatovenereology diseases accounted for 10.5% (Užice) to 45% (Zaječar), while venereal diseases prevailed (83.3% and 16.7%, respectively). In the period from 1880 to 1897, there were 12.354 Serbian soldiers with venereal diseases: 56.9% had Gonorrhoea, 28.9% had Ulcusmolle, and 14.2% had Syphilis. The first official and professional statistics on Syphilis was done in 1898, and according to the report, 0.26% of the population of Serbia was affected by Syphilis: 1.42% in the Timok Region and 0.27% in Belgrade. Nevertheless, these data must be taken with caution, being very low. In regions with endemic Syphilis, tardive and tertiary Syphilis prevailed, whereas out of these regions, secondary forms of the disease were most common. In the period from 1882 to 1910, according to the reports of the Sanitary Department of the Ministry of Defense, skin diseases were reported in 3.1% to 15.2% of all hospitalized soldiers. Leprosy was diagnosed in 15 cases in Serbia; notification of all cases became compulsory in 1890. From 1912 to 1918, Serbia was at war, and the most common skin disease was a dermatozoonosis - pediculosios (lice infestation), which caused a tragic epidemic of exanthematous typhus in the army, but also among civilians. It was estimated that there were 500.000 sick persons, out of which over 150.000 died, including 56% of physicians and other medical staff working in hospitals. Disinfestation was the main treatment modality, using steam in so called “Serbian barrel”. At the Thessaloniki front line, in the Dermatovenereology Department, there were 41 dermatoses or groups of dermatoses, affecting the hospitalized soldiers, but scabies was scarce, owing to good hygiene. After the end of the First World War, the Serbian army and population were decimated, and the country ruined. Reconstruction of the country began once again.

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Serbian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology

The Journal of Serbian Association of Dermatovenereologists (SAD)

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