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Thread: Magical Illnesses

  1. #1

    Magical Illnesses

    I'm curious as to what type of diseases wizards can get. What are the symptoms of said diseases? Are they much different from Muggle illnesses? Can wizards get Muggle sicknesses? Like, cancer or heart disease? JKR hasn't really written much about that kind of thing. Just Spattergroit and Dragon pox, if I can recall. I mean, St. Mungo's can't be just for snake bites and awry jinxes, can it?

  2. #2
    Magical bugs besides dragon pox mentioned in OotP are scrofungulus and vanishing sickness. Magical bugs is the only St. Mungo's ward devoted to illnesses. All the other wards are for magic, magical items, or magical flora and fauna gone bad. With the exception of some sort of cold or something going around in CoS, mild illnesses are never mentioned amongst Hogwarts students that I can think of. I suspect this is because mild coughs, sneezes, and the like can be treated with simple potions. I believe Madam Pomfrey used Pepper-Up Potion in treating the colds in CoS.

    As for more serious things like cancer I'd suspect that they are not common or do not exist in the magical world. Again, my argument hinges on them not being mentioned in the books and not fitting into any ward at St. Mungo's. In many ways, the magical world's medicine is more advanced than ours if a mere school nurse can re-grow all a student's bones in one night. Perhaps cancer and heart disease do exist in the magical world, but have simple remedies (perhaps a bottled potion just like Skele-Grow) and thus are not a big enough problem to mention in the books.

  3. #3
    Secret Seeker
    I think there's some reference to magical illnesses in the books. There is one in the Deathly Hallows, and Ron graciously explains a little about the disease, and from what we know, it is probably a type of fungus.
    Deathly Hallows Page. 86

    "So we're going to put out the story that I'm seriously ill with spattergroit, which is why I can't go back to school. If anyone comes calling to investigate, Mum or Dad ca show them the ghouol in my bed, covered in postules. Spattergroit's really contagious, so tehy're not going to want to go near him. It won't matter that he cant say anything, either, because apparently you can't once the fungus has spread to your uvula."
    I also found that when Mr. Weasley is in Hospital, the Healer tells Ron that he might have Spattergroit (only because he mistaken the freckles for symptoms of the disease) and he suggests that he "take the liver of a toad, bind it tight about his throat and stand naked by the full moon in a barrel of eels' eyes".

    There is also 'Dragon Pox'. I found in Harry Potter Wiki about it, apparently it is mentioned slightly more in depth than the books in 'Quidditch through the ages'.
    Dragon pox is a potentially fatal contagious disease that sometimes occurs when a wizard or witch ingests a potion that contains spoiled dragon liver or blood.
    Besides, the known symtom of the muggle version- chicken pox, which is pocmarks on the skin, Dragon pox "causes a lasting greenish tinge". I also found that "Wizards tend to view Muggle medicine as primitive and barbaric." Which, please, give us a break- there being the fact that we have to do without magic, we've advanced considerably.

    You can find more about the Disease here: Harry Potter Wiki- Dragon pox

    The branch of magic dedicated to curing and finding cures to magical maladies is known as 'Medical Magic'. Healing is not just casting spells though, it is in fact known that bones can be regrown back using the 'Skelegrow Potion'. In Harry's second year, when students are petrified, the Mandrakes are used to prepare a potion to restore them back to their original state; whilst it might not be an illness as such, I'm sure the 'Mandrake Restorative Draught' is also used elsewhere in this branch of magic.

    More about this can be found here: Harry potter Wiki- Medical Magic

    Hope I helped

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