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Malaria fever in Transylvania in the second half of the 19th century. The sanitary service in the construction of railways in the region of Cluj

Domenii publicaţii > Stiinte umaniste + Tipuri publicaţii > Articol în volumul unei conferinţe

Autori: Horber Orsolya, Zilahi Karoly

Editorial: V th Meeting of ISHM , Nicosia, Cyprus,, Abstracts/Resumes, p.pp 109-110, 2009.


The construction of railways in the second half of the 19th century represented an important
stage in the modernization of Transylvania. The line Cluj-Razboieni spanning
69km was made between 18 71 and 18 73. The city of Cluj/Kolozsvar was becoming at
that time an important cultural and academic centre of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
Antal Genersich, the founder of the Institute of Pathological Anatomy in Cluj/Kolozsvar,
had been the doctor working as a supervisor of the public health of the workers working
at the railways.
A disciple of Rokitansky and Virchow, Genersich was a great theorist but also a clinical
doctor. He published the results in a Report in 18 75. Genersich and colleagues treated
11 000 patients of which 6525 suffered from malaria, thus making it the most important
The region of Cluj was an area of endemic malaria and the epidemics caused serious
depopulation. The Report includes recommendations on how to eradicate the disease:
systematic river drainage, afforestation and forest extension.
Malaria appeared as a result of several major construction projects in the second half
of the 19th century: the construction of canals (Panama and Suez canals) and the construction
of railways.
The Poster presents the geological, geographical and climatic conditions of this area,
the critical factors influencing the spreading of contagious diseases (especially malaria)
in the community of railway workers of the line Cluj-Razboieni and also the public health
measures adopted in the fight against the disease.

Cuvinte cheie: caile ferate, asistenta medicala, febra paludica // railways, sanitary service, malaria fever