Medical Definition of Pesthouse

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Pesthouse: A hospital where people suffering from infectious disease were once confined and sometimes treated. "I discovered the ruin of the pesthouse, a building where anyone with an illness who was passing through the western passages into the British Isles in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries would be quarantined and left to die." (Jim Crace, The Paris Review). Pest was once synonymous with the plague and more generally referred to any dread contagious disease.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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