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with a preparation containing such: Boracic acid and its salts, formaldehyde, hydrooxides and carbonates of alkalis, sulphurous acid and its salts, hypsulphurous salts, fuor-hydrogen and its salts, salicylic acid and its salts, chloride salts, and coloring substances of whatever nature. The latter, however, may be employed for coloring coverings, if not otherwise prohibited.

Fresh meat may be imported into Germany in whole carcasses only, which if of cattle (calves excepted) or hogs may be in halves. Calves must not weigh more than 165 pounds. With the carcasses, the pleura, peritoneum, lungs, heart, kidneys, and the udder and lymphatic glands, if of cows, must be naturally connected. Carcasses divided into halves must be packed together, and must be so marked and numbered that it becomes at once apparent that the halves belong together.

With cattle (calves excepted), the head or the lower jaw and the masticating muscles must be connected with the carcasses in the natural state; with hogs, the head with the tongue and the head of the windpipe—the brain and eyes may be missing. With cattle, the head may be separated from the carcass, provided the head and the carcass are so marked or numbered that it is at once apparent that they belong together.

With carcasses of horses, asses, mules, and other solipeds, the head, the upper part of the windpipe, and the windpipe, as well as the whole skin, must be connected in at least one place in its natural state, in addition to the pleura, peritoneum, lungs, heart, and kidneys.

Pickled and salted meats, with the exception of ham, bacon, and intestines, may be imported only if the weight of the separate pieces is not less than 8.8 pounds. Smoked meat which has been subjected to a pickling process is to be treated as pickled meat. Meat which has been lawfully inspected in Germany (which fact must be established) and has been exported is not subject to an official examination if reimported.

The immediate transportation in transit under a customs escort or in bond (if by mail, without these restrictions) is not to be considered as importation under the law; such meat in transit is not subject to the provisions of the law, but it must not remain longer in Germany than is necessary. If meats are stored in a customs warehouse, they are not to be considered as for "immediate transportation."

THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK RELATING TO CONTAGIOUS DISEASES OF THE EYE,

AND THEIR PREVENTION.*

By FRANK VAN FLEET, M. D.,
Surgeon to the Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital.

The first of these laws is that formerly known as Chapter 633 of the laws of 1886, to be found in the Revised Statutes as Chapter 667 of the laws of 1900. This law was enacted through the efforts of members of this Academy and others, and it should be, and is, a source of great pride to the people of this community that there are enough public-spirited citizens in every profession, and in all walks of life, who will give time and energy to secure the enactment of laws for the protection of those who, through ignorance or inability, cannot protect themselves from disease and other evils which may threaten them.

This law provides for the appointment of physicians to institutions for the care of dependent children, and can be found in sections 213 and 214 of the statutes above mentioned. It reads after this fashion :

SECTION 213.—Every institution in this State, incorporated for the express purpose of caring for children, except hospitals, shall have a regular physician of its own choice and in good professional standing, whose name and address shall be posted conspicuously near the main entrance. His duty shall be to examine each child admitted, and certify in writing that the child has no contagious or infectious disease, especially of the eyes and skin, before the said child can be admitted to contact with other children.

This certificate must be filed with the commitment and other papers. The child must be placed in quarantine until discharged therefrom by the physician.

SECTION 214 provides that the physician shall make monthly reports of the physical condition of the children in the institution and of the existence of contagious or infectious diseases, especially of the eyes and skin.

*Part of a symposium on contagious eye diseases at the New York Academy of Medicine, June 5, 1902.-" Pediatrics" for August, 1902.

The only other law relating to contagious eye disease is one for the prevention or detection of the purulent inflammation of the eye of the new-born infant, known as ophthalmia neonatorum, when in the care of a midwife. This law was originally worded so that it was impossible to secure convictions under it; it was finally repealed and re-enacted as part of a general law for the protection of children. This law provides that any midwife or nurse having the care of an infant shall report any redness or inflammation of the infant's eye to the health officer or to some legally qualified practitioner of medicine within six hours after such redness or inflammation appears; failure to do which is punishable by a fine of $100 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or both fine and imprisonment.

There are no other laws in this State relating to contagious or infectious diseases of the eye, especially. New York City has another enactment which enables the proper authorities to formulate rules and regulations for the control of contagious and infectious diseases of whatever kind and nature. This is the power vested in the Board of Health. The law relating to contagious ophthalmia is a State law. That it has been enforced, to some extent at least, in this city, there is no doubt. The figures taken from the reports of the institutions in the Borough of Manhattan for the care of dependent children demonstrate, from the falling off in the number of contagious eye diseases, the beneficent effect of the law quoted, and must be especially gratifying to our friends now living who worked for its enactment.

The law compelling the calling of a physician by midwives and nurses in the event of inflammatory conditions existing in the eyes of infants in their care has also had a beneficial effect. A number of convictions have been secured for neglect in this particular on the part of midwives, and I believe the fact that such a law exists is now known to most of the women who follow the calling of midwifery. I will say for the benefit of all who may not know it, that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children will prosecute any midwife who has violated this law, if physicians and others who may have knowledge of such violation will acquaint the Society of the fact.

Conditions seem to indicate that some influence has been at work in the State of New York to reduce the proportion of blind people in the total population. According to the figures furnished by Dr. Lucien Howe, the United States census for 1890 showed

seventy-two blind for every 100,000 people in the State of New York, while the figures given us by Dr. Derby seem to indicate that the number has been reduced to one in every 2,500, which would mean a total of forty to every 100,000 persons, being a reduction of thirty-three in every 100,000.

I believe more than one factor has contributed to this reduction. The people themselves know more than they did ten years ago, and among others who have increased knowledge we may number ourselves. Not only is the average of professional attainment greater, owing to the laws governing the practice of medicine, but also those who are especially familiar with eye diseases know more than they or their predecessors knew. The non-medical members of the community are more likely to give prompt attention to ocular troubles than formerly, because of increased knowledge on their part. The increase in hospitals and clinics devoted to the care of these special diseases; the growth of schools for post-graduate instruction for physicians; increased vigilance on the part of the United States authorities in refusing admission to immigrants afflicted with trachoma; all these, and possibly more factors, have entered into the reduction of the proportion of blind persons in the State of New York.

The Desirability of Further Legislation, is one for serious consideration.

I would say, as far as New York City is concerned, there is, in my opinion, no need for further legislation for the control of contagious eye diseases. Whether this is true of other parts of the State I cannot say, but I see no reason why it should not be if other local boards of health, or the State Board of Health, have powers equal to those possessed by our local board.

Sir Edward Coke, the English jurist, who died in 1634, noted alike for his brutality of speech and his legal acumen, is quoted as saying: “Reason is the life of the law; nay, the common law itself is nothing but reason.” When authority was vested in the Health Board of this city to enact whatever regulations it deemed necessary to control contagious diseases the lawmakers certainly acted in the light of reason. I am not prepared to say the Health Board should be allowed to continue indefinitely in the possession of all the privileges it now enjoys, but I do believe it is necessary this Board should have very great discretionary powers, and that the right given this Board to create a sanitary code, which it can alter and amend, as the necessities arise, is both wise and just.

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It would seem as if nearly every avenue of contagion, including contagious eye diseases, was sufficiently safeguarded by existing law.

The Sanitary Code gives the Health Board the right to exclude any person known to have any disease which is contagious or dangerous to the public health, or who has been in contact with any person having such a disease, whether they come from a neighboring city, county or State, or from a foreign State. It makes no difference where one may have obtained authority to come into this city, the authority of the Health Board over-rides all other authority. Under this code the Health Board has the right to declare any disease contagious, or dangerous to the public health. The State therefore has safeguarded the city to a remarkable—although not unnecessary-extent, by placing in the hands of the Board of Health power broad enough and arbitrary enough to enable the Board to keep out any disease detrimental to the public health of which it may have knowledge.

I am convinced that one of the most fruitful fields for the dissemination of contagious eye disease is to be found in our public schools. This, too, is a field that can be controlled by the Health Board. The regular corps of inspectors may or may not be able to properly diagnose the presence of all forms of contagious eye affections. I am not prepared to say inspectors can be obtained for the salary paid the regular inspectors now employed in our public schools, who will be familiar enough with this class of diseases to make their services sufficient to properly remove this danger to the eyes of our children attending the public schools. I have no doubt, however, that the necessary funds can be obtained if the Health Board can be convinced that the danger is great enough to warrant the outlay.

Another source from which many cases of contagious eye diseases come is the public bath. During the summer months, which is, of course, the only time public baths are patronized; we have many cases, especially in our free clinics, of purulent, and therefore contagious eye diseases, which date from a visit to one of these baths. Personally, while I have seen a great many of these bath-house cases, I have never seen disastrous results follow; one can easily imagine what might happen, however, as a consequence of neglect in such a case. I am not prepared to recommend a remedy, but would suggest that it might be a subject worth investigation by the proper authorities.

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