YAWS, known scientifically as frainbasia, is a cutaneous eruption of a very peculiar nature, which commonly attacks negroes, but has been noticed in Europeans. The disease is preceded by languor and pain iu the limbs, and shivering, succeeded by heat and restlessness, and is more severe in children than in adults. After a few weeks, the pure glossy-black color of the skin gives place to a dirty dull tint; and the patients often not only loathe food, but take to eating coals, chalk, earth, etc. The skin is then covered for a few days with a white mealy scurf, as if it had been dusted with flour, after which pimples like pin-heads appear on the •forehead, face, neck, groins, etc., which increase for a week or more, growing into crusted pustules, which enlarge until the base attains the size of a sixpence, or even a shilling. If the crust is removed, a foul sloughing sore is exposed. The pustules may, however, burst spontaneously, and discharge a thick viscid matter, which hardens to a scab on the surface. In the larger pustules this sur face at length becomes elevated into a red granulated excrescence, not unlike a wild rasp berry (frambasia), which is the true and characteristic yaw. In size it may vary from that of a pea to that of a mulberry, and in color it varies with the general health of the patient from a red to a pale white tint. It has very slight sensibility, and never properly suppurates, but discharges a glutinous fluid, which communicates the disease by inocula tion. When the yaw has remained for some time, it diminishes in size, and as the pustule heals, is finally covered with skin, leaving little or no mark. When the disease seems to have reached its height, one pustule becomes much larger than any of the others, and in stead of being elevated, is depressed. This is termed the master or mother yaw, and requires much care. When the mulberry-like excrescences appear on the soles of the feet, the resistance of the thick epidermis excites great pain. They are then termed by the
negroes tublvs, or crab yaws. This disease is endemic among certain tribes of native Afri cans, and is common among the negroes of the West Indies and of North and South Amer ica. It is contagious, and cannot be communicated except by the actual contact of yaw matter to the abraded skin, or by inoculation, which is sometimes effected by means of a large fly called the yaw-fly. The interval between the reception of the poison and the formation of the eruption varies from seven to ten weeks. The disease scarcely ever attacks the same individual more than once. " Yaws," says Dr. Craigie, in his learned work on The Practice of Physic, " are liable to be confounded with the secondary [tertiary 2] or cutaneous symptoms of syphilis, with sivvens,* with the Arabian leprosy, with radesyge, pellagra, and the red leprosy of Cayenne." Several writers of eminence regard yaws as the same with the disease described in Leviticus, chap xiii., as the Jewish leprosy, but the description of the symptoms there given is not sufficiently precise to furnith suffi cient evidence regarding their identity. With regard to treatment, mercury does more harm than good, and all that can be done with advantage is to render the progress of the morbid processes as little' painful as possible. The most important remedial agent is the warm bath; and blood-purifying drinks, such as decoction of sarsaparilla, etc., may be prescribed. The Africans have their own native remedies in the bark of trees called yufo and bullania, taken in infusion or decoction; and to destroy the mother yaw they adopt the following barbarous process: Iron is boiled in Hine-juice with a quantity of the common black ants and of Malaguetta pepper, and the liquid thus pre pared is applied hot to the yaw.