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Before the adjournment of the General Assembly in 1900 the appropriation was increased to five thousand dollars per year, and the Board was enabled to again take the field actively.*
The secretary was instructed to visit infected localities in person as rapidly as possible, hold joint meetings of the health and fiscal authorities, or public meetings, when deemed expedient, in short, to do everything in his power to arouse the authorities and people to the importance of at once ridding the State of this loathsomé and expensive malady. As one of the means of dong this the following circular was widely distributed, especially to officials and in infected localities, the pictures taken from life by one of the most celebrated experts in this country, enabling every one to see how hideous and undesirable the disease is even in its present mild and slightly fatal form. Fifteen thousand copies of this circular have been already used:
HOW TO COMBAT SMALLPOX. Issued by the State Board of Health of Kentucky. This Board has official information that smallpox still exists in several widely separated sections of the State. It is also prevalent in ad
*For purposes of comparison this table is published, 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, etc.: Massachusetts
. $111,300 Louisiana (about)
29,000 New York
25,000 New Jersey
*10,000 New Hampshire
*8,500 North Carolina
*5,500 Kentucky ...
*5,000 joining States, and manifests a tendency everywhere to break over official control and assume an epidemic form.
Within the past two and a half years this disease has prevailed more or less in 81 of the 119 counties of Kentucky, costing in cash from our county and municipal treasuries, as gathered from official reports and careful estimates, over $150,000, to say nothing of the cost and suffering to individuals, and the far greater loss from interference with business and travel. There is serious danger that the disease will be allowed to slumber and hold over in some counties during the warm months and then spread again disastrously with the advent of cold weather, or assume a severe and fatal form, as recently occurred in Fulton county.
The Board, therefore, feels it to be its duty to again warn our officials and people that action should be taken at once to guard against this loathsome malady. Fortunately the method of prevention is as certain in its action as it is cheap and easy to obtain. Vaccination and re-vaccination, properly done, with reliable virus, is a certain preventive, and is entirely free from danger. This is the conclusion of the scientific world, after large experience and full investigation, and may be thoroughly relied upon.
Vaccination should always be done by a competent physician, at three points an inch apart, on a clean arm, and the person should be seen by him from time to time that he may know that a perfect result has been secured. It is a most important operation, as imperfect vaccination will give only a false sense of security. Varioloid occurs in persons partialy vaccinated, but a thoroughly vaccinated person will not take smallpox even when directly exposed. It follows that the disease would be immediately and permanently stamped out if vaccination should be universally practiced.
Although this safe, cheap, and perfect protection is within the reach of all, outside of the centers of population, and the communities where smallpox has recently existed, a large per cent. of our people have never availed themselves of it. It is unlawful to remain unvaccinated but in the face of present conditions intelligent people should not wait for the law to force them to an evident duty. Health and school boards and county courts everywhere should co-operate in providing and requiring protection for all within their jurisdictions. Reader, will you not have yourself and every one for whom you are responsible at once protected from this dreadful disease?
Next to the difficulty of getting people vaccinated, the failure of physicians to diagnose and properly isolate first cases has caused most trouble in management. Ignorant and obstinate county courts have usually gotten their first bias and inspiration from some equally ignorant and obstinate doctor. This is to be accounted for largely by remembering that the country has been so long free from smallpox