Whooping cough

In Hades Bloom thinks of an affliction that gasworks plants were thought to cure, and then of other perilous childhood diseases: "Whooping cough they say it cures. Good job Milly never got it. Poor children! Doubles them up black and blue in convulsions. Shame really. Got off lightly with illnesses compared. Only measles. Flaxseed tea. Scarlatina, influenza epidemics. Canvassing for death. Don't miss this chance." The catalogue suits a chapter which meditates relentlessly on death, including the deaths of children, but it ends with Bloom whimsically picturing the diseases as advertising canvassers like himself.

John Hunt 2023

New York Times headline of 23 August 1913. Source: www.nytimes.com.

Bridgeport Evening Farmer (Connecticut) article of 22 Novermber 1913 reporting thousands of childhood deaths from measles.
Source: blogs.loc.gov.

Star-Independent (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) headline of 17 March 1910.
Source: wynninghistory.com.