|Pest houses were
constructed to isolate individuals who were suffering from contagious
diseases. The periodic epidemics of smallpox and yellow fever came on top of
endemic diseases. Malaria was endemic, and referred to as quartile fever or
“seasoning” that virtually all newcomers experienced. Colds and respiratory
infections often resulted in pleurisy or pneumonia. Dysentery and other
intestinal diseases were called fluxes.
These endemic diseases killed far more people than the more terrifying