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A Health Measure Proposed

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Juno 18, 1881. Membera of the Micliigan State Board of Health:- (;utleinen: - At a meeting of the New Orleans Medical and Surgical Associatton held May 7, the following resolution was adopted: "Kesolved, Tliat the special attentionoftbe National Board of Health be called to the unusual prevalence at tne present time of typhus fever, scailet fever, sinall-pox, and other contagious diseases in the northern and some of the western States. We, therefore, urge the necessity of immediate action, the most rigid railroad inspection froni such places, believing, as we do, that they may be considered dangeromly infected." Tliere have been reported f rom various portions of this state, cases of small-pox, so that now it may be considered to have been pretty well scattered over the state. So far, the local boards of health have succeeded in keeping the diseaae from spreading to an alarming extent. In this they have been aided by the fact that by action of this board in years past, thousands of people in the state wervaccinated this spring. Uut, althougb no general outbreak of the disease has as yet occured, yet, from the great numbers of immigrants pouring into and throngh this state, and the general prevalence of small-pox in foreign ports from whence these immigrants come, there is danger of such an ontbreak, and it seems to nie that some action should be taken to prevent the further introduction of small-pox into tke state. In order that there may be caref ui thought on this subject before action, I send you the copy of the following letter from Stephen 'ímith, M. IJ., committee of the National Board of Health on the Prevention of Small Pox, and would respectfully suggest that you give this plan some thought and be prepared to take some action at the regular meeting of the board, July 12,1881. The letter is as follows: Dear Dr. Baker: - The only plan by which small-pox, spread by emigrants, can be brought under effectual control seems to me to be this, viz, - the concerted action of municipal, state, and National Sanitary Authorities. The special functions of each might be tbus stated. 1. The Xat. Board might appoint Port Inspectors who should examine every immigrant and give carda to eacli with name and date of inspection; if the person is found protected, give him a white card; if unprotected, vaccinate him and give him a red card with name and date of vaccination. 2. Appoint inland inspectors to be located at the great centers where the emigrant trains pass from one state into another, as at Buffalo, Ogdensburg, Pittsburg, Wheeling, Detroit, Cincinnati, Chicago, St. Paul, Kansas City, St. Louis. These inspectors coukl examine the cards, allow those holding white ones to pass, but re-examine those holding ved ones, and if vaccination is not effectual, revaccinate. State authorities could inspect at such points as the emigiants are likely to be diverted from the train and lócate in the state. 3. The municipal authorities would follow the emigrant to his homo and secure general vaccination of the eommunity. "Would your State Board be interested in taking action in this matter; or do you not suffer from immigrants ? The National Board eannot properly act unless state and local boards cali for aid. If there was combined action of state boards, the national board could co-operate at ports and on interstate lines, and the whole machinery of sanitary organization could work in harmony and effectually extermínate this pestilence. Emigrants arrive at New York at the rate 6,000 and 7,000 daily, large numbers unvaccinated, and all have been exposed to small-pox in foreign ports. It seems tome that tl) is is a grand opportunity for the sanitary authorities of the 'United States to combine, each working in its sphere, and gives an example of their power to extermínate a plague which will incréase for a year or mure unless we make such an effort. I have detailed this plan to our Health Ollicer and Dr. llallis and tliey approve. I thiuk our State Board will ask the Xational Board to aid in preventing the introduction of small pox. [Signed] Stephen Sjiitii. Such an inspection service as detailed need not confine its work to small pox. but the introduction of typhus lever and other cont.igious diseases could be guarded against. I trust this important subject will receive due attention. Very respectfully,


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Ann Arbor Democrat