Scurvy: The Disease That Killed More Sailors Than All Other Diseases In History

Scurvy is a disease that killed more sailors than all other diseases in history. And it’s preventable. Although it’s been treated with vitamin C for centuries, scurvy still claims lives every year. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, around 100,000 people die from scurvy per year—mostly in developing countries where access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited. In this blog post, we will explore what causes scurvy and how you can prevent it. We also have tips on how to treat and prevent the disease if you become infected. So read on and learn how you can save a life—or at least prevent someone from losing one due to scurvy.

What is scurvy?

Scurvy is a disease that results from a lack of vitamin C, a nutrient found in fresh fruits and vegetables. This disease was common in the 18th century, when sailors often limited their diets to foods that were not as fresh or as flavorful. As a result, scurvy was common among sailors and resulted in numerous deaths. In the 19th century, however, improvements in maritime technology led to the development of citrus-based beverages which helped prevent scurvy. Today, although it is still possible for sailors to develop scurvy, this disease is rare and can be treated with supplements or surgery.

How did scurvy kill so many sailors?

Scurvy is a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C, which results in the formation of scurvy enamel, leading to tooth decay and Gehrig’s disease (a neurodegenerative disorder). Symptoms of scurvy can include muscle weakness, anemia, and skin lesions. The disease was most common among sailors who were confined to shipsboard life. In 1795, one in eight crewmembers aboard the HMS Samuel Pepys was affected by scurvy. By 1854, the disease had killed over 4,000 British seamen.

How can scurvy be prevented?

Scurvy is a disease caused by a lack of Vitamin C in the body. It is most commonly seen in sailors who are on long voyages, as well as people who don’t eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables. It can be prevented with regular intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.

What are the symptoms of scurvy?

The symptoms of scurvy can include:

-Nausea and vomiting
-Lack of appetite
-Weight loss
-Bleeding from the gums or nose

What can be done to improve the health of sailors?

There is no single answer to this question as the health of sailors can vary greatly depending on their location and occupation. However, a few general strategies that can be employed to improve the health of sailors include:

-Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
-Drinking plenty of water and milk.
-Exercising regularly.
-Avoiding exposure to infections and diseases.


Scurvy is an appalling disease that takes the lives of so many sailors. Although it has been eradicated from most countries, it still claims lives every year thanks to stormy seas and ill-prepared crews. If you are heading out to sea soon, make sure you have a robust nutritional plan in place to avoid this deadly condition.

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