Printed in section “News Notes”

Communicable Diseases

OF twenty-two new cases of smallpox which occurred in Chicago during a recent week, none had been revaccinated since childhood, and seventeen had never been vaccinated. Of the five who had been vaccinated in childhood, the youngest was twenty-six years old.

IN a recent editorial article, The Journal of the American Medical Association urges that in all acute infectious diseases, the urine, feces, sputum, and nasal discharges should be disinfected, as all may contain infectious germs capable of carrying infection to others.

Two German professors, at a recent meeting of the German Medical Society, stated their belief that cancer is not contagious, and that the reason it seems to be rapidly increasing is because more cases are recognized than formerly. Others are not prepared to accept these views.

THE State Board of Health of Pennsylvania has issued a circular on The Early Diagnosis of Tuberculosis, which they have sent to all the physicians of the State. This will give physicians, in brief, the latest and best information regarding the early and accurate diagnosis of tuberculosis.

Dr. GEORGE T. MOORE, of the Bureau of Plant Industry, has issued a report showing that copper, properly used, is of inestimable value in purifying large bodies of water infected with typhoid germs. According to the doctor, the amount of copper necessary to destroy the typhoid germs is absolutely harmless to human beings.

A BILL has been introduced into the Pennsylvania Legislature, empowering the health authorities to make rules for the care and control of all persons having acute infectious disease, and for the control of the sanitary condition of premises where such diseases exist, and for the burial of all persons who have died of some acute infectious disease.

THE death-rate from cerebrospinal meningitis in the city of New York has increased from eighteen the last week of December to one hundred and thirty-one the last week of March. As a result of this alarming increase, a commission has been appointed, which is studying the disease not only in New York, but in ether places where the disease is prevalent.

“THE Danish government has issued a new stamp of the value of half a cent, the proceeds from the sale of which are to be used to augment a fund for a sanatorium for tuberculous children. The stamp has a picture of the late queen, and is affixed by those charitably inclined, to all postal matters, in addition to the regular postage. Twenty-seven thousand dollars has already been raised in this way. The plan has found a favorable reception among the Danes, and is being considered for adoption in other European countries.”

“No case of plague has existed in California for over a year. During all that time a force of inspectors has been constantly at work; basements have been torn out, and concrete flooring laid, war on rats waged, and the whole area repeatedly disinfected. Recognizing the danger that all coast cities with large commerce are in, now that plague is so wide-spread throughout the world, the State will continue the work of inspection, so that if, by any means, it should again appear, we shall be there with an organized and experienced force.”

THE Anti-Tuberculosis League of Cleveland, Ohio, aims to increase public interest, so there will be an intelligent support of public measures directed against the disease. It is proposed: —

To support and increase sanitoria, dispensaries, and visiting nurses.

To preserve children from infection by assisting in fresh-air camps, vacation schools, and children’s societies.

To investigate dangerous trades, and see that proper health devices are used.

To investigate unsanitary houses, and urge their proper disinfection and repair.

IN Los Angeles sixty-three deaths occurred in February from tuberculosis. Of these, nine were natives of the Pacific Coast; ten had lived in Los Angeles less than three months; eight between three and six months; seven between six and twelve months, and nineteen between one and five years. What is true of Los Angeles is also true of other places. That so large a proportion should die in a short time after reaching here shows poor judgment on the part of those sending them, to call it by no harsher term. Our climate, glorious as it is, can not save the lives of consumptives coming here in the last stages of the disease, many of them without friends or means to provide the necessaries of life, to say nothing of the comforts so much needed. It is cruel to them and unjust to us.— Report, Cal. State Board of Health.

A BILL abolishing compulsory vaccination of school children passed both houses of the California Legislature, but was vetoed by Governor Pardee. In his message, the Governor, who is a physician, said: “Before the discovery and application of vaccination by the immortal Jenner, smallpox was nearly universal, and it was considered a grave disadvantage not to have had the disease in childhood. Severe and terrible epidemics have gradually but surely become things of the past except when, from any cause, vaccination has been neglected. That accidents of many kinds, even death, may follow vaccination is not and can not be denied. But that the number of these accidents, compared with the many, many thousands — even millions — of times which this beneficent procedure is practised, is anything but infinitesimal is not borne out by the facts. When vaccination is compulsory, and the law is well administered, there is but little smallpox; so that those protected by vaccination soon lose their fear of the dread disease; and turning our attention to the lesser evils of the vaccine virus, many of us conjure a fear, not warranted by facts, against the very thing that saves us from a much worse fate.”