Bernard Scanlan - Scrub Typhus Hospital Admission

Running time
1 min 52 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


You always had a groundsheet to give you some protection, but that wasn't everything, though. There were times when you would be wet to the hide. Socks and boots full of water, that sort of thing, because it was never time to take your boots off to cross a river or a creek.

You plowed in the way you were, on a rope across. Someone would go to get a rope across to safeguard the other fellows. Scrub typhus was a thing that was very prolific among the ... It's the lice off rats. When you're sleeping out on the grass at night, there were rat-infested areas there, and the lice off the rats would get into you, bite you, and you developed out of that, scrub typhus.

I was admitted to hospital with scrub typhus and malaria, and my friend, from Casino, passed away in the bed alongside me. He was very ill. We were both taken back to Dobodura to the 2/8th AGH, and there were mainly women there, and some of the Victorian nurses were very helpful there to us because we hadn't seen much of nurses in the time we were there.

Now, I well remember as far as being seriously ill there with it, it was something that people ... the fellows in the ward were taking bets to when you went into isolation, who would come out and who wouldn't. You'd be on that list very quickly.

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