Spring is in the air, the weather is warming up, sun is shining down and you feel like you're coming down with Spring Fever.
Spring Fever hasn't always been associated with good weather and better times, in fact it was actually a deadly illness that affected thousands.
Nowadays you know it by a different name: scurvy.
"I've got a case of scurvy" doesn't sound nearly as exciting does it?
Today Spring Fever refers to the lack of motivation a lot of us feel when winter is finally over. It's a psychological ailment because we're so eager to experience the sun. Flashback a couple of hundred years ago and Spring Fever meant something totally different.
Scurvy is caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet. Symptoms include swollen gums, joint pain and shortness of breath. Left untreated long enough and it will kill you. Scurvy was one of the major threats facing explorers from 1500 - 1800 with an estimated 2 million sailors dying because of it.
Why was it called spring fever? Also known as Spring Disease, it was named that way because of the season in which symptoms would begin. Winter time was a bad time for fruit, especially on a ship. So after toughing out months with just meat sailors started to feel worse for wear.
Fun fact about scurvy: it also led to the saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
The more you know!