Consequences of the Famine

Famine Memorial. Custom House Quay famine-cottage-reconstruction Famine memorial. New York City 30th May Maghery Walking Weekend 500
Consequences of the Famine

Research suggests that of the one million or more people who died during the
famine in 85/90 % of cases death was caused by fever/disease rather than starvation.

Disease
The main diseases which became epidemic during the famine included;

Typhus
Transmitted by lice, known as ‘’Black Fever’’ The death rate was very high.

Relapsing fever
Recurring Fever, transmitted by lice.

Dysentery
Diarrhoea, not usually fatal except to children, caused by the sparsity of diet and liquid diets.

Bacillary Dysentery
Transmitted by infected persons handling food supplies. It caused death in many cases.

Hunger Oedema
Swelling of the limbs and then the body until the body finally burst.

Scurvy
Also called ‘’Black Leg’’. It caused joints to become enlarged, Teeth to fall out and the blood vessels under the skin to burst, caused by the lack of vitamin C in the diet.

Ophthalmia
Affected the eyes, especially of children, causing blindness, generally in one eye. Over 13,000 cases were recorded in 1849 and 27,000 cases in 1850. Caused by lack of vitamin C in the diet.

Evictions
The famine led to growing arrears in rent and rates among small farmers that led to a wave of evections. The evicted families could not be given shelter by relatives or friends or they too would be evicted.
They sought shelter in ditches or bog holes, tried to enter the workhouse or wander the roads until they succumbed to disease and death.

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