Prevention of Typhoid,
IT is a duty that we owe to friends as well as ourselves to use all possible protection that the disease will not be spread, as the cause of the disease has been found in every case of death. It is necessary that we destroy all germs without the body and those possible for us within the body, which may be sources of contagion. While heat would probably be the best and easiest method used and the temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, of course this method would be impractical. The discharges from the bowels are in 90 per cent. or more of the cases the danger carriers, and when the germs dry and get blown about in the air, their danger of mischief is increasing. Should discharges be allowed to contaminate drinking water the danger is almost unlimited, as in the linen of typhoid patients and the hands of those that care for them. The following illustrates the desirability of leaving nothing undone when caring for the discharges from a typhoid patient. The town of Plymouth in Pennsylvania had a population a few years ago of 80,000 people. During January and February of that year a case of typhoid ran its course and the discharges, without any attempt at disinfection, were carried out and thrown upon the snow at some distance from the house but on a slope inclining toward a mountain brook, which later became a part of the water supply of the town. After the thaw in March the brook was allowed to empty into the reservoir, and fifteen days later an epidemic of typhoid began which ended with a report of 1,200 out of the population of 80,000 becoming sick with the disease and the death of a great many of them. Water boiled and then cooled is much safer than trusting to the many patent filters on the market, and milk, if suspected, should be treated likewise, though a pure supply should be obtained.
Disinfection. Carbolic acid after prolonged action is probably sufficient to remove the danger, but a quicker method is desirable.
Corrosive sublimate, 1 to 1,000 strength, is excellent. It attacks metal piping and therefore makes the repairs too costly.
Lime is the most efficient and being easily obtained is safe and cheap. Any solution of lime which is strong enough to be markedly alkaline can be tested by touching a small piece of litmus paper to the solution, when, if alkaline, it will turn blue. If the discharges are thoroughly stirred in a solution of about the consistency of whitewash and then turned down the closets, the danger will be reduced to the minimum, and by paying strict attention to the hands and wrists with soap and water and scrubbing brush, the danger to yourself will be prevented. The sick room should be large, airy, well ventilated and without unnecessary furniture. The bed should be where the light may come to it from the side rather than having the direct rays of light coming over the foot of the bed and shining in the patient's eyes; all unnecessary heat should be excluded, as the fever of the patient would only be increased and the temperature of the room had better be kept at 65 degrees. Open fires are greatly to be preferred for the much better ventilation afforded, with the additional advantage that they do not dry the room as rapidly as hot air furnaces.
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copyright 2005, J. Crow Company, New Ipswich NH 03071