Doctors during the antebellum period dealt with illness despite a lack of general knowledge of disease and very few hospitals. Common antebellum diseases included dysentery, influenza, malaria, and small pox. Children were most susceptible to illness, for example the state reported 427 croup related deaths and 400 whooping cough fatalities. Those severely sick could not go to a hospital unless an individual's physician ran a private infirmary. Medical practices for the period relied on \"the 'four Ps' pukes, purges, plasters, and phlebotomy.\"