Ond for Consumptives Advocated by a State Board.
One-Tenth of Deaths in Michigan Caused by This Dread Disease.
Such a Hospital if Built in Accordance With Wish of Board, Will Undoubtedly Be Located in Ann Arbor.
The state board of health, in the report to the legislature shows that one-tenth of the deaths in Michigan for the year ending Dec. 31, 1898, were due to consumption, being greater than the deaths from typhoid fever, scarlet fever, diphtheria, croup, spinal meningitis, etc., combined. They make a strong argument for the building of a consumptive hospital. This is one of the hospitals which are projected for Ann Arbor, where competent medical skill can be had without extra expense to the state.
In the report attention is called to the fact that there are in Michigan several thousand persons who are suffering with consumption. Many of them are poor and ignorant of the ways in which the disease is spread. They are centers of infection from which thousands of citizens will catch this disease unless measures more speedily effective than any heretofore employed are adopted. There are hundreds of such poor and ignorant consumptives who will continue to spread the disease unless they can be given more instruction and training in methods for its destruction than can be given them by the talk and influence of local health officers or the literature distributed by the state health officials. The board insists that in order to stop their destructive carelessness they should be cared for and instructed in a special hospital where the chances for recovery can be enforced so that whether cured or not, they can soon go out from the hospital so well informed that they will cease to be centers of infection.
In the judgment of the board there is needed in order to make this great measure for the lessening of consumption most practicable, the following:
1. At least one "state sanitarium for consumptives."
2. Some system for selecting those consumptives most endangering the people of the state, and most suitable for care and instruction in the sanitarium.
This may be facilitated by requiring inspections and action by the local health officers throughout the state.
3. Some system for determining the duration of the stay of consumptives at the sanitarium.
4. Some system of division of the expense of caring for these consumptives, making a portion of it a charge against the counties from which they are sent, and a portion to the individuals, if able to pay.
The cost of such a sanitarium as is recommended is estimated at $60,000, and that it would be a good investment may be concluded from the fact that it is estimated that the money losses from this disease in Michigan amount to more than $3,000,000 annually. Then there will be the far greater compensation in the saving of human life.
Another important recommendation made by the board is the enactment of a law requiring that tuberculin tests be made of all cows which supply milk to the cities and villages, and prohibiting the sale of milk from tuberculous cows. It is believed by the board that a very considerable proportion of the tubercular diseases, such as tubercular meningitis of children, consumption of the bowels, etc, are caused by the use of uncooked milk from tuberculous cows.