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In future epidemics I would suggest that all railroads entering the state from infected districts be required to arrange for transfer of all passengers into clean cars at the state line; that infected cars be disinfected there by the company under the direction of an officer of this Board, and that all baggage be subjected to disinfection for twenty-four hours before admission, and if this can not be done, then absolute quarantine.
Bowling Green, Ky., October 11, 1897.
SMALL-POX REPORTS FROM COUNTIES AND CITIES.
The following correspondence will give much valuable information in regard to the prevalence of small-pox in Kentucky, although much of it is broken and fragmentary and, for lack of time and other reasons, many of the local boards have failed to report.
Casey Creek, Ky., August 15, 1899. State Board of Health, Bowling Green, Ky.
Gentlemen: Your letter of the 11th inst. came promptly to me. Casey County Board has been legally notified three times, but they refuse to act. I called Dr. U. L. Taylor, of Columbia, on the 12th inst., and he, Dr. Hood and myself saw eighteen cases of small-pox on the 13th. Some of them are well marked cases, while others have very light attacks. Was to see some of them yesterday and found them doing well, except one little boy five years old, who, I think, is dead this morning.
Most of the cases are in Casey county; the rest are in Adair near the Casey and Adair line. About 250 have been vaccinated. Will vaccinate others when virus comes.
Yesterday I notified the Board of Health of Taylor county of some suspected cases at Mannsville, and Dr. Atkinson, of Campbellsville, went out there at once and found five cases.
One Dr. * * * , of that village, says it is not small-pox. He was to see the cases in Casey county yesterday and pronounced them chickenpox. I saw him there. He went without being called. He is telling the people that there is no danger of catching the disease. When told that the Board of Health of Taylor county had hoisted yellow flags, he said he would pull them down to-day.
I telephoned Drs. Taylor, of Columbia, and Atkinson, of Campbellsville, and they promised to meet me to-morrow at the Casey county caises.
If at any time you deem it necessary to advise me in this matter I will accept it and thank you, too.
Z T. GABBERT.
Columbia, Ky., August 24th, 1899. State Board of Health, Bowling Green, Ky.
Gentlemen: The small-pox situation in Adair county is practically unchanged. The disease is still confined to the same two families. Every member of one family has had it, and all but two of the other. The epidemic has been exceedingly mild in Adair; very severe in Casey. I have been fearful of a wide spread in one community, from the fact that the physician treated the first case for chicken-pox, and failed to isolate it or flag the house. The family lives on a high and dry ridge, on a public road, where there is a good spring, and I was told by the father that several hundreds of people had been at the house while his boy was sick. It will be a wonder if it does not spread. As soon as I heard of the situation I went there and flagged the house, cut off travel along the road, and put them under as good sanitary condition as possible. The family consisted of eight members—the parents and six children. The children have all been sick, but the parents are still well. The young man Withington, that gave the disease to Casey county, was working at Mr. Giles' in Adair, when he was taken sick. Young Giles, the first case in the Giles family, worked and slept with Withington until the eruption made its appearance on Withington. Withington then went to his home in Casey county, and gave the disease to his father's whole family, and Mr. Woodrum's family, living near by, and it has been confined to these two families in that community, until Dr. Hood, the attending physician, was taken. So you see the connection of the disease in the two counties, and see the cause for wonder that it should be so mild in our county and so severe in Casey. The other family affected in our county lives about eight miles from the Giles family, and has not had, so far as I was able to find out, any communication with them. The head of the family is named Leslie Cox, and married a woman near Mannsville, in Taylor county. This Taylor county family is named Woodrum, and is, I understand, the same family that has small-pox in Mannsville. Mrs. Cox told me that the two families had been visiting back and forth regularly before the Cox family was taken, and after the Woodrums had been seized. Now, this is the best history that I have been able to get as to its origin. Young Withington, the cause of the most trouble, had the disease very lightly, and was confined to his room but a few days. He says he got it somewhere in the direction of Lebanon, by sleeping with an infected person. Doubtless you will hear many wild and conflicting rumors, but you will find that these are substantially the facts. We have established a quarantine in that end of the county, not a shotgun quarantine on the public roads, but one much more effectual. We are giving the suspected persons notice, and keeping them at home under heavy penalties. The shotgun quarantine on the road's stops all the best people, while the tramps and scalawags go round the guards, and go where they please. We had just as well undertake to quarantine against red foxes and jack rabbits as to undertake to stop these latter classes of people. I will keep you advised. Let me hear from you.
U. L. TAYLOR, M. D., Health Officer.
Columbia, Ky., October 9, 1899. State Board of Health, Bowling Green, Ky.
Gentlemen: By your request I undertake to give you a short history of the small-pox epidemic in Adair county. On August 11th, while visiting at Jamestown, Ky., I received a telephone message from Dr. W. T. Grissom, president of the Adair County Board, announcing the fact that small-pox had broken out in Casey county, just over the line from Adair. Soon after reaching home I received a message from Dr. Z. T. Gabbert, informing me that there were several suspected cases in our county, and asking me to come and look after it. I immediately went, and, in company with Dr. Gabbert, visited all the cases in Casey and Adair counties. Up to this time the Board of Health in Casey had done nothing, and the doctor in attendance had done nothing toward the prevention of the spread of the disease. I found fourteen cases of unmistakable small-pox in Casey, and four cases in Adair. The cases in Adair were all light, while a considerable number in Casey were very severe. There was one case in another family in Adair county that I did not visit, because the physician in attendance pronounced it chickenpox. He, however, soon saw the error of his way, and seconded my efforts heartily in suppressing the disease. The different members of these two families had been so long exposed to the contagion that no effort was made to separate them from the affected ones. They were vaccinated, but without avail. Every member in these two families was seized in regular order, making fourteen cases-eight in the Giles family and six in the Cox family. The greatest hindrance that we met with in the suppression of the disease was from persons who knew nothing about it, had never seen it, but who persistently denied that it was small-pox. Some of these persons were unfortunately physicians. These doctors called it chicken-pox, Cuban itch, Cuban measles, and everything under the heavens but small-pox. The plan of quarantining that we adopted—that is, to place every suspected person under heavy penalties to remain at home, worked admirably. It was effectual, and was done without cost of guards.
The cost, in money, of the small-pox epidemic in our county has not been large. The fiscal court just closed paid me one hundred dollars for my services as health officer for the county, and paid Dr. J. C. Gose fifty dollars for waiting on the Giles family. If the Cox family had any treatment it was by a physician living in Taylor county, who persistently denied that the disease was small-pox, and I suppose charged our county nothing. Then, I think, there was a small bill allowed to a merchant in that vicinity for supplies furnished the Cox family while they were under quarantine. Casey county did not fare so well. The fiscal court in that county allowed claims growing out of small-pox, aggregating $1,100, and Russell county's claims for her epidemic was four or five hundred dollars, and they are not yet done.
If the services of myself and the other members of the local Board have been satisfactory we would like to have the appointment again. Hoping that this report is satisfactory, I am
Columbia, Ky., October 16, 1899. State Board of Health, Bowling Green, Ky.
Gentlemen: We have another outbreak of small-pox in our county; this time the west end, and there are twelve or fifteen cases. The invasion was in this way, as I learned from the afflicted families: A man named John Franklin, living near Boston, Ky., had been up about Frankfort, on business connected with the penitentiary; had been set at liberty, and on his return home contracted small-pox. He infected his own family, and after they were sufficiently recovered, but before they were well, he visited his relations in this county. He gave it to his father's family, and the physician who attended them, living at Camp Knox, in Green county, pronounced it small-pox, but advised to say nothing about it for fear of a panic in the neighborhood. That was in July. The Health Board of this county were not notified; no smallpox signals were displayed; no quarantining was done, and, of course, all the relations flocked in to see the sick. In due time some of the relatives were seized, and it gradually spread till I received notice last Saturday morning. I found in the neighborhood one desperately bad case I think a fatal one-and about a dozen others in a mild form. I found three others in a new family, with all the premonitory symptoms, but the eruption had not made its appearance. I found that they had been visiting the infected families, and were really expecting to take small-pox. I placed the neighborhood under rigid quarantine, and it may spread no further. If the doctor above alluded to had done his duty in the premises, the trouble might have been confined to the first afflicted family. The county court are seconding my efforts, and doing everything in their power to assist in the suppression of the trouble.
I will keep you advised in regard to the matter. I will watch it closely.
U. L. TAYLOR, M. D., Health Officer.
Lawrenceburg ,Ky., August 2, 1899. State Board of Health, Bowling Green, Ky.
Gentlemen: We have in our city some cases that we are undecided as to the diagnosis. We have had cases of chicken-pox here for the last five or six months, but a case has developed that resembles smallpox. What had we better do in the matter? We are only fourteen miles south of Frankfort, and have, as far as possible, cut off all communication for there until yesterday, when our county judge refuses to give us any further assistance.
President County Board of Health.
Lawrenceburg, Ky., October 7, 1899. State Board of Health, Bowling Green, Ky.
Gentlemen: As we have rid our county of small-pox, I desire to submit you the following report: That on August 5th there were four cases discovered in our city, and we at once established a pesthouse, and also a house of detention. There were in pesthouse fourteen cases, and in house of detention there were thirty-seven persons detained, and out of those nine took the disease. The total cost to the county amounts to $1,985, besides a loss of almost 50 per cent in all business lines within our city during the epidemic. Inclosed find newspaper clipping, which will give you a fuller description:
WORST OVER. It is now believed that we have seen our last case of small-pox in Lawrenceburg for this time. Dr. C. M. Paynter, who has been the physician in charge at the camp, has returned to town for the purpose of resuming his regular practice, and says that it will not be necessary for him to go to the camp again. There have been under his care fourteen cases. On August 5th the camp was established, and four cases were taken out, as follows: Norris Elsie, Will Burke and wife and daughter, Katie, the last three named being colored. On August 9th Cornelius Thurman, the 11-months-old child of Thos. Thurman, colored, was found to have the disease, and, in connection with its parents, was taken to the camp. The following is a list of the suspects that were stricken after being taken out of town: Mr. and Mrs. D. W. Young and children, Alice, Charley and Ben, had the varioloid; another child had small-pox; Thos. Thurman had small-pox. On August 20th Charley Martin, who took the disease at Tyrone, was removed to the camp. The baby of Mr. and Mrs. Young, upon whom vaccination never took, and about whom grave fears were entertained, escaped without taking the disease at all. There are now at the camp Judge and Mrs. S. P. Martin, who were taken there as suspects, their son, Charley, and Thos. Thurman, wife and child. All the others have been discharged. It is a matter of congratulation that we have not suffered a single death from the malady. It is believed that the disease was brought here by Will Keene, colored, from Louisville. The first case in town was Noblest Alcorn, colored, son of Rev. G. W. Alcorn. Nelson, Mabel and George Keene, and John Marshall and two children, all colored, had the disease in town, and were well before the camp was established.-Anderson News.
Yours very respectfully,
C. A. LEATHERS, M. D.,
Glasgow, Ky., August 4, 1899. State Board of Health, Bowling Green, Ky.
Gentlemen: Our supposed case of small-pox near Temple Hill must have been chicken pox, as there has been no other case after a lapse of three weeks. The case was isolated and the usual precautions taken to prevent the disease from spreading. I think there will be no cost to the county arising from its management.
County Health Officer.