Chapter II, The Mode of Venereal Infection, from John Hunterís A Treatise on the Venereal Disease, 1786
<A HUNTER, JOHN>
<N A TREATISE ON THE VENEREAL DISEASE>
THE MODE OF VENEREAL INFECTION
EVERY infectious diſeaſe has its peculiar manner of being caught, and
among mankind there is generally ſomething peculiar in the way of life,
or ſome attending circumſtance which expoſes them at one time or other to
contract ſuch diſeaſes, and which if avoided would prevent their propagation.
The itch for inſtance is generally caught by a ſpecies of civility, the ſhaking
of hands, therefore the hand is moſt commonly the firſt part affected.† And
as the venereal poiſon is generally caught by the connection between the ſexes,
the parts of generation commonly firſt ſuffer; from this circumſtance people
do not ſuſpect this diſeaſe when the ſymptoms are any where elſe, while
they always ſuſpect it in every complaint of thoſe parts.
††††††††††††††† In the lower claſs of peole, one as naturally thinks of the itch when there
is an eruption between the fingers, as we do in young men of the venereal
diſeaſe from the genitals being affected; but as every ſecreting ſurface whether
cuticular or non-cuticular, as was explained before, is liable to be infected by
the venereal poiſon when it is applied to them, it is poſſible for many other parts
beſides the genitals to receive this diſeaſe, therefore it appears in the anus,
mouth, noſe, eyes, ears, and, as has been ſaid, in the nipples of women from
giving ſuck to children who have it in their mouths; which children have
been infected in the birth from the parts of the mother being diſeaſed.