The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #23981   Message #270963
Posted By: Jeri
03-Aug-00 - 09:46 AM
Thread Name: History: Tom Dooley didn't kill Laura Foster?!?
Subject: RE: Tom Dooley didn't kill Laura Foster?!?
The disease in question is syphilis, and no, I don't think there was an effective cure back then. I'm not sure what was being used at the time the events took place, but salts of mercury had been used previously. It may have cured the disease if it didn't kill the patient, but it did faster damage that the disease would have. Syphilis can become latent and never re-surface, or come back in later years (typically 5 - 20 years after infection) to disable and kill. I believe the first cure that actually worked on syphilis without killing the patient was penicillin.