In this campaign Aurelius, after a series of successes, was attacked, according to some authorities, by an infectious disease, of which he died after a seven days' illness, either in his camp at Sirmium (Mitrovitz), on the Save, in Lower Pannonia, or at Vindobona (Vienna), on the 17th of March 180, in the fifty-ninth year of his age.
When sulphur is burned in air or oxygen, sulphur dioxide is produced, which is a powerful disinfectant, used to fumigate rooms which have been occupied by persons suffering from some infectious disease.
On the other hand, inheritance was dismissed, or survived only as a "susceptibility," in the cases of tubercle, leprosy and some other maladies now recognized as infectious; while in others, as in syphilis, it was seen to consist in a translation of the infectious element from parent to offspring.
A department of public health was formed within the precincts of the Local Government Board; government laboratories were established, and machinery was devised for the notification of infectious diseases.
In 1878 an act was passed giving like powers in the case of the infectious diseases of animals.