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tion, and yet these criticisms of it are obviously absurd, for they
EQUABLE DISTRIBUTION OF DIPHTHERIA.—Passaic's Board of Health, while searching for the origin of many cases of diphtheria that exist among the school children of the town, has discovered that the spread of the disease has been due, in large part, at least, to an invention of-the Board of Education. It seems that it is the custom in the Passaic public schools to give each pupil a lead pencil every morning, and to collect the pencils every night for another distribution next day! This plan has the obvious advantage of being economical, and it is also extremely fair. Using pencils as children always do, with frequent applications of the point to their tongues, each pupil in each school had an equal opportunity to acquire such contagious maladies as might be going around, and an equitable distribution of diphtheria was rendered almost certain. The Passaic health authorities have decided, however, that this method of supplying pencils is not, on the whole, to be commended, and they have, with some vehemençe, directed
the school people to think up another scheme. It would be interesting to know in how many other towns the same and similar exhibitions of official ignorance are in progress, and especially if there is anything like it in New York. It is rumored that not quite all of our devices for supplying our public school children with text books and the other implements of their work are beyond the criticism of sanitarians, and, with such a Health Board as we now haye, these rumors ought to be quickly ended, either by authoritative denial or by the removal of the abuses underlying them.
. TREATMENT OF DIPHTHERIA.—Dr. J. W. Pearce ("American Practitioner and News," July 15, 1902) says that he has never lost a case, and attributes his success to the use of ecthol. “If I can get perfectly fresh antitoxine I give it, but if it cannot be had perfectly fresh I do not. Whether antitoxine is given or not, I give ecthol in full doses, appropriate for the age of the patient, every three hours, administered by the mouth. The entire fauces, larynx and pharynx are sprayed with a mixture of ecthol and peroxide of hydrogen, three parts of the former to one of the latter, every fifteen to thirty minutes. Calomel in small doses is administered every hour until the bowels are thoroughly moved. Nourishing and supportive diet is given at short, regular intervals, and everything done to make the patient comfortable in the way of supplying fresh air, etc. I have been using this plan, modifying it to suit the needs of each individual case, for several years, knowing that it will give good results and entire satisfaction if it is carefully and effectively administered and carried out. Nothing can save a patient in articulo mortis, and it is needless to try this in such cases, hoping to do something." .
A MAN'S Nose BURSTS INTO FLAMES.-A man was walking along the Boulevard Saint-Michel, Paris, one day recently, and stopped to light a cigarette. Suddenly his nose burst into flames, which spread to his beard. A.crowd assembled, while the unfortunate man danced with pain until a policeman took him to a pharmacist's shop, where his burns were treated. An examination of the nose showed that it was made of celluloid, the unscrupulous dealer who sold it having foisted it on his client instead of the horn nose, which had been prescribed. ...
THE DISEASE-BEARING INSECTS IN RURAL
By HARVEY B. BASHORE, M. D.
The study of disease-bearing insects is of special interest to the rural sanitarian, for both of these insect families flourish more in the country than in the city; one of them, the malarial-bearing mosquito, is pre-eminently a rural dweller.
The well-drained city house, situated on an elevated avenue, with its covered garbage can, quick disposal of its contents and properly screened kitchen, suffers very little from either of these pests. On the other hand, the village and country house very often swarm with both; the uncovered manure pile and decaying garbage teem with fies; the country rain-barrel and neglected drainage furnish breeding places for myriads of mosquitoes.
One great point about the life history of the fly and mosquito is that they are “born and bred,” more or less, on the premises where they are found. Each householder is responsible to a certain degree for his own flies and mosquitoes. It would be well worth while to use every endeavor to eliminate these pests if for that alone, but as they are now known to carry disease, the subject becomes of vital interest to all.
Of all the sanitary appliances used in the country the earthcloset is of especial interest on account of the likelihood of being a breeding place for flies. Last year I raised some flies from the larva of an earth-closet and found that there were two principal varieties, namely, the sarcophaga, and a stable fly; both or either of these may carry disease for they are known to frequent kitchens. Earth-closets should therefore have tightly fitting covers, and if so arranged the breeding of flies in them will be reduced to a minimum, as I found by actual experiment.
The garbage hole in the garden bed, which I have frequently recommended as a method of disposal, unless covered with earth very carefully and very frequently is likely to become a breeding place; to avoid this I tried screening the hole, but found that the little fruit flies, which are particularly fond of garbage and fruit, actually crawled through the meshes of the screen, so I resorted to a tight board cover and Alies were eliminated from that place at least.
The village manure pile which we used to think ought to be exposed to the sun to favor nitrification, should be covered or screened, for many of the manure-loving flies frequent houses.
The village rain-barrel is without doubt one of the great breeding places for mosquitoes, except the malarial-bearing anopheles, which, I am sure, must wander some distance from its birthplace.
The locality where I made investigation last year had all three of the anopheles family, yet I could find no possible breeding place within at least several hundred yards.
In a very wild and beautiful valley not far from my home I found larva of anopheles in the little rock pools, and by keeping them in bottles reared the adult-A. punctipennis.
In another instance I found them in many pools in the bed of a new railroad cutting; this would perhaps explain why railroad grading is so frequently coincident with malaria.
The country privy and cesspool is also a great breeding place of culex, and all such places should be treated with kerosene during the mosquito season.
I tried this plan, with screening of cistern, etc., in a village house, and found that there was a great diminution of the insects.
The value of small fish-goldfish and sunfish-ein keeping ponds free of mosquitoes is very great. I put some catfish in a bucket containing mosquito larva and all larva had disappeared twentyfour hours after the introduction of the fish. The fact that catfish will destroy larva is interesting, because some ponds and pools are so muddy and filthy that goldfish and sunfish will not thrive; in such, catfish would seem to be the remedy.
THE PROPHYLACTIC TREATMENT OF TYPHOID
We have read with very great interest in the “British Medical Journal” of September 27, 1902, a most valuable paper by Major Firth and Major Horrocks, of the British army, upon the influence of soil, fabrics and Aies in the dissemination of enteric infection. The object of their research is well described in the title of their paper, and the experiments themselves seem to have been carried out with the greatest possible care, all collateral influences being carefully considered. Altogether thirty-six experiments were performed, and the conclusions which they reached may be summed up as follows. We use their own words to express the results which they have obtained :
"From our experiments we draw the following conclusions, which are equally applicable to enteric bacilli recently isolated from enteric stools, as to old cultures of the organism which have been in the laboratory for many months.
“1. That there is no evidence to show that the enteric bacillus, when placed in soil, displays any disposition or ability to either increase in numbers or grow upward, downward, or laterally.
"2. That the enteric bacillus can be washed through at least eighteen inches of soil by means of water, even when the soil is closely packed down and no fissures or cracks allowed to exist.
"3. That the enteric bacillus is able to assume a vegetative existence in ordinary and sewage polluted soil and survive therein for varying periods, amounting in some cases to as much as seventy-four days. .^4. That the presence or absence of organic nutritive material in the soil appears to be a largely negligible factor, since the enteric bacillus can survive in a soil indifferently well whether it be an organically polluted soil or a virgin soil, and whether it receive dilute sewage or merely rain-water.
“5. That an excess or great deficiency of moisture in soils appears to be the dominant factor affecting the chances of survival of the enteric bacillus in, or at least the possibility of recovering it from, soil.
"6. That from fine sand allowed to become dry, the enteric bacillus can be recovered on the twenty-fifth day after inoculation.
"7. That from fine sand kept moist with either rain or dilute sewage, the enteric bacillus cannot be recovered later than the twelfth day after fouling; this inability to recover the organism is due probably not so much to its death as to its being washed down into the deeper sand layers by liquids added.
“8. That in peat the enteric bacillus appears to rapidly die out, as the microbe cannot be recovered from it after the thirteenth day; but this soil is so porous that it is quite possible that the microorganism was washed down into the deeper parts and consequently not recoverable from the place of inoculation.
"9. · That from ordinary soil kept damp by occasional additions of rain-water the enteric bacillus can be recovered up to and on the sixty-seventh day. - "10. That from a similar soil kept damp by occasional additions