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SIMPSON COUNTY. Dr. J. C. Douglas ---
-----Franklin. Dr. G. W. Duncan ---
Franklin. Dr. J. M. Briggs -----
SPENCER COUNTY. Dr. W. E. Shepherd ----
-- Taylorsville. Dr. J. L. Seay ---
Normandy. Dr. Edw. Williams ---
TRIMBLE COUNTY. Dr. J. C. Hancock ----
- Bedford. J. W. Spreen ---------
---Milford. Dr. W. A. Wright..
- Morganfield. - Morganfield.
WASHINGTON COUNTY. Dr. W. W. Ray ----
--Springfield. Dr. J. H. Lampton ---
---------Springfield. Dr. J. B. Mudd
WOLFE COUNTY. Dr. J. H. Stamper ---
------Campton. Dr. H. H. Stamper ----
----Campton. Dr. B. D. Cox
WOODFORD COUNTY. Dr. J. D. Neet -------
Versailles. Dr. W. C. McAuley ----
- Versailles. Dr. J. H. Arnold
This report is for the two years ending April 1, 1899. As the Board is required to pay the expense of its printing from its small annual appropriation, which has always been the smallest made for this purpose in the Union, the report is necessarily made so brief that it can only cover the actual work done in a very imperfect way.
From its organization in 1878, the work of the Board has been hampered for lack of funds, and its usefulness greatly curtailed. From year to year its duties have been enlarged by the General Assembly without the addition of a dollar to the fund needed to properly discharge these duties, until these have become so disproportionate as to threaten to bring the work into disrepute.
For purposes of comparison, a table is inserted showing the amounts appropriated in a recent year, in the states named, for public health purposes; the asterisks (*) indicate additional sources of revenue, as epidemic funds, marine or other fees, free printing, etc. This table indicates at a glance the disadvantages under which the Board has labored:
....$111,300 Louisiana (about) ....
..... 100,000 Texas ...............
29,000 New York
25,000 New Jersey .. ey ........................
*21,500 Wisconsin ...
in .......................... 20,500 Michigan
13,000 Maryland .......
13,000 California ......
12,500 Connecticut ..
*10,000 New Hampshire
*8,500 North Carolina ..............
In spite of the great disadvantage at which the Board has been placed it may be confidently claimed that Kentucky has made earnest efforts to keep pace with other states in this regard. This has only been possible through the self-sacrificing labors of the nearly four hundred physicians composing the county and municipal boards of health, over five-sixths of whom have never received one cent for this responsible and often unpleasant work.
The names of the members of the county boards are given a first place in this report as a mark of the esteem in which they are held by us, constituting our “Roll of Honor.”
In so far as concerns epidemic and contagious diseases the years covered by this report have been the most eventful in the entire history of the Board.
The appearance of yellow fever at Ocean Springs, . Miss., in August, 1897, and its rapid spread to Mobile, New Orleans, Jackson and many other cities and towns of the South having direct and rapid travel connections with our state, gave rise to grave and well-grounded apprehension that the disease might reach our borders in epidemic form. Within forty-eight hours our inspectors were on all trains entering our territory from the infected districts; the first refugees, who came by the hundreds, were met and officially passed upon, had their baggage disinfected, destination noted, and reported to the local health authorities. Although our doors were thrown wide open to all who might come, it is pleasant to record that only three cases of the fever developed amongst the refugees, and not one in our own citizens.
A full report of the operations of this service, and of the expense thereof, was transmitted to the governor at once, as required by law, and will be found embraced in this publication.
SMALL-POX. Small-pox was imported from Honduras to Mobile early in the summer of 1897, and spread rapidly through the mining regions of Alabama and Tennessee. The disease was singularly mild in form, and as it was mainly confined to the colored race, appeared to attract but little attention from either the health authorities or people except in the larger cities.
The first case in Kentucky came to Middlesboro from Tennessee early in January, 1897. Shortly after, the disease broke out at Jellico, a state-line town, and two months later a negro who had contracted the disease at Knoxville came down with it at Richmond.
The character of the disease was recognized early at Middlesboro, but in the absence of any hospital or other preparations for dealing with it, and while the fiscal authorities of the town and county were higgling about meeting the expenses, hundreds of exposures had occurred, in a population almost entirely unprotected by vaccination. To add to the difficulties of the situation, although the disease was well marked in its diagnostic features, ignorant and designing persons spread the report that it was "Elephant Itch,” “Cuban Itch,” “African Itch," names which clung to the disease in this and other states, much to the confusion of the popular mind. The malady spread rapidly at this place, resulting in the most severe and expensive epidemic that has ever visited an interior town in this state.
A serious condition of affairs also developed at Jellico, but here the Health Board secured earlier financial support from the county, and by most efficient work, the disease was brought under control.
Recognizing that the state was called upon to face an emergency, not only from the epidemics already on at the places mentioned, but also from fresh importations from other states, this Board caused the following