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"The Prevention of Typhoid Fever in Town and Country,” W. H. Frost, passed assistant surgeon U. S. Public Health Service.
"My experience with an Epidemic of Smallpox," Dr. W. T. Henshaw, health officer of Berkeley county.
“The Production and Distribution of Milk,” Dr. J. T. Thornton, health officer of Ohio county.
“The Duties and Trials of County Health Officers,” Dr. H. A. Barbee, member of state board and health officer of Mason county.
The questions presented and the various papers read were freely discussed by a number of those present.
At eight o'clock, p. m., in the Y. M. C. A. hall, a public health meeting was held at which His Honor, Mayor Murdock, presided and delivered a pleasing address, after which Judge Tavener gave a brief address, followed by Dr. W. W. Golden, President of the board, who told the audience, “What the State Board of Health is Doing and Planning to Do.” At the conclusion of his address, Dr. S. L. Jepson secretary of the board, read a paper on “Fads, Fakes and Faith Cures.”
The next School of Instruction was held in the governor's reception room at Charleston, May 6th, 1914. In addition to the members of the board, namely: Dr. W. W. Golden, Dr. J. H. Shipper, Dr. G. D. Lind, Dr. J. L. Pyle, Dr. J. A. Rusmisell, Dr. W. J. Davidson, Dr. J. E. Robins, Dr. H. A. Brandebury and Dr. S. L. Jepson, there were present thirty-five county and municipal health officers chiefly from the southern part of the state.
The following program was carried out:
“Typhoid Fever and Illegal Practitioners vs. The State of West Virginia,” Dr. W. W. Golden.
“What West Virginia Can Do to Eliminate Typhoid Fever,” Dr. J. L. Pyle.
"Illegal Practice in this State," Dr. W. J. Davidson. “Small-pox, its Sanitary Control,” Dr. S. L. Jepson.
“What a Health Officer should Bear in Mind in reference to the Transmission of Disease.” Dr. H. A. Brandebury.
“The Chemistry and Physics of Common Disinfectants,” Dr. G. D. Lind.
“Legal Questions Pertaining to Public Health,” Attorney General A. A. Lilly.
“What Charleston is Doing in the Interest of Public Health,” Dr. 0. L. Aultz, health officer of Charleston.
“What Huntington is Doing in the Interest of Public Health," Dr: T. E. W. Grover, health officer of Huntington.
A morning and afternoon session was necessary to complete the program. Free discussion was indulged in until five o'clock, p. m., when the school adjourned.
We cannot but believe that great good will be accomplished by these meetings, in exciting renewed interest in public health matters and familiarizing the various health officers of the state with modern methods of sanitation and the control of infectious diseases. By,
the convenience of the different local health officials, and two schools will be held each year, one so located as to accommodate those residing in the upper part and the other those in the lower part of the state. We believe that in this way we can diminish expenses, accommodate a larger number of health officials, and, therefore, secure a fuller attendance at the meetings.
BULLETIN OF THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH.
The amendments of 1913 to the Public Health Laws of the state provided, that the State Board of Health “shall gather information in respect to matters embraced in this section and kindred subjects for diffusion among the people.” The matters embraced in this section were, in general terms, the causes of diseases, the methods of their propagation, the sources of inortality, the effects of locality, employments, habits and circumstances of life on the public health, and the means of prevention of diseases. Following the precedents established by the boards of health of other states, after due deliberation and consideration of the means available for the purpose, our board at its November meeting 1913, resolved to issue a Bulletin, and the secretary, with President Golden and Dr. G. D. Lind were appointed an editing committee. The first issue of the Bulletin was in January, 1914, and it is now issued quarterly under the title, “Bulletin of the West Virginia State Board of Health.” This is a pamphlet containing approximately 35 pages, and it aims to communicate to the public the important part of the board's transactions, with additional information on public health matters, and especially instruction in. proper methods of living and the means of preventing disease. Eight thousand copies of the Bulletin are issued quarterly, and from the very numerous requests that come to us for copies of the publication, we are quite sure that it is meeting a long felt want. The education of the people as to the character of disease and the methods of its prevention must ever constitute a large part of public health work. The distinguished Dr. Gorgas, surgeon general of the United States army, whose sanitation of the Canal Zone has made for him a world-wide reputation, has recently said that he regards an increase in the wages of a working man as a sanitary measure of the greatest importance.
This simply means that when a family has more money it can secure for itself a more healthful environment. It may be said with even greater truth, that the better education a family possesses the more certain is the environment of that family to be ideal as to sanitation. The board is, therefore, endeavoring to educate the people in sanitary matters, and if means are provided they purpose in the future to use the moving picture films illustrative of disease, bad sanitation, etc., believing that in this way many of our people can be educated who can in no other way be reached.
The secretary has, as opportunity has offered, given public lectures on sanitary matters in a number of the counties of the state. It is hoped that this part of the public health work may be enlarged
enable it to secure some very greatly needed assistance. The time of the secretary is so greatly occupied in correspondence, that but little time is left in which to carry on educational work outside his office. Many people will listen to a talk on disease and its prevention who will not spend the time in reading about it. It is therefore deemed necessary to carry the message of health to the people by word of mouth as often as circumstances and the means at the board's disposal will permit.
Innumerable complaints of various kinds reach the office of the secretary of the state board entailing an enormous correspondence. These vary in character from very just complaints as to the impurity of water supplies to those of chickens allowed to run at large in the neighborhood of a country tavern. The writers not unnaturally believe that the State Board of Health is possessed of plenary power to cause the removal of whatever may in the remotest degree tend to the production of disease or constitute a nuisance offensive to the eyes or the olfactories. The secretary promptly answers all complaints that come into his office, and attempts to do what is possible in the matters of which complaint is made. We here present some of the more grave complaints and the disposition made of them. It would occupy entirely too much space were we to give in detail an account of all matters of this kind that come to our notice.
Under date of August 8, 1913, the following communication was sent from Hinton, W. Va., to the president of the board.
“Hinton, W. Va., August 8, 1914. West Virginia State Board of Health,
Elkins, W. Va.
By request I am herewith inclosing a petition from approximately 400 citizens of Hinton and Avis, asking that your board make a thorough examination of Hinton's water supply. You will note that the councils of the city of Hinton and the city of Avis havě endorsed this petition and I feel that it is surely a matter deserving your attention.
The Business Men's Association has not as yet acted upon this matter as they have held no meeting since the petition has been in circulation. However, the matter will be brought to their attention at the next meeting and I will probably have a communication from them to present to you a later date,
I have been designated to represent the citizens before your board and you will please address any communication with reference to the matter to me.
Yours very truly,
C. C. GRIMMETT.”
The petition referred to was as follows: “To the Board of Health of West Virginia:
We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Hinton and Avis, West Virginia, respectfully represent that we are dependent upon the Hinton water for drinking and general consumption purposes; and that the supply of water as now furnished by the aforesaid corporation is unsanitary, unhealthful, and unfit for general use; and believing that a continuation of the use of this water will prove a menace to the health of our citizens and their families, breed disease and probably result in deaths, therefore, we pray that your honorable body will, by virtue of its authority granted by law, cause an investigation of these conditions to be made, together with an analysis of the water; and require the aforesaid corporation to install such filters and provide such remedies as may be necessary to guarantee pure and wholesome water for general consumption.”
The above petition signed by about 400 citizens was, with the letter of Mr. Grimmett, promptly transmitted to the secretary with the following communication:
Elkins, W. Va., August 9, 1913.
Wheeling, W. Va.
The inclosed communication with reference to the water supply at Hinton and Avis will explain itself. I also inclose a copy of my answer. The matter of course needs immediate attention. As we as yet have no laboratory in operation, there are three ways open to us for the analysis of this water: 1. To send it to a reliable private laboratory and pay the cost of analysis: 2. To send it to the U. S. Public Health Service Laboratory at Washington where, I believe, such work is done free by official request: 3. To send it to the University at Morgantown. The latter course appears to me to be the best. In order to save time I will send a copy of this letter to Dr. Simpson so that he will be prepared to give you a prompt answer as to whether or not they can make the examination for us. If his answer is in the affirmative, he could at once send the necessary sterile containers with perfectly plain and complete directions how to fill and seal them aseptically. However, do as you think best.
Yours very truly,
W. W. GOLDEN,
Dr. Golden also sent an immediate reply to Mr. Grimmett direct, promising that the matter complained of should receive prompt attention. On receiving the above communications the secretary acted on the suggestion of Dr. Golden, and, under date of August 11, 1913, wrote to Dr. Simpson at the University urging that an analysis of this. water be made if possible. The answer received was prompt and favorable. Mr. Grimmett was also at once informed of the action taken, and was also told that if he thought “a personal visit from a member of our board would be of any advantage in the matter, one of our members would be sent to Hinton for such purpose.” Professor N. J. Giddings of the University, very kindly consented to make the required examination of the water, and as soon as possible samples
25th, Professor Giddings reported to Mr. Gimmett the results of his investigation as follows:
"I have given these specimens of water the usual bacteriological tests to determine the presence of the colon bacillus (the presence of the colon bacillus is positive evidence of fecal contamination, either human or animal. Secretary). The specimens gave results as follows: No. 1 (from the city reservoir) gave a positive reaction with 1/10 cc. of water, 1 cc of water and 2 cc of water.
No. 2 (from the spigot at R. A. Foley's store in the lower part of town) gave a negative reaction with 1/10 cc of water and positive reaction with 1 cc and with 2 cc.
No. 3 (from the residence of Mr. R. S. Mann, Avis, in the upper part of the town) gave positive reaction with 1 cc and with 2 cc, and a negative reaction with 1/10 cc.
No. 4 (water taken from James' Mill Pond, water from which enters the river 100 yards above the intake pipe) gave positive reaction with 1/10 cc and 1 cc.
No. 5 (water from the river just above the intake pipe) gave positive reaction with 1 cc and 1/10 cc or water.
The report of organisms which develop readily at body heat were as follows: No. 1 had 5, No. 2 had 5 plus, No. 3 had 7, No. 4 had 151, No. 5 had 8 per cubic centimeter. Since every sample gave a positive reaction for the colon bacillus, the water supply is certainly unfit for drinking purposes unless it is boiled, or filtered through clean Berkfeld filters. The reaction was very pronounced in every case except sample No. 2, which was a little slow in showing up. I certainly hope that this information may be of some value and service to you and that action may be taken to improve the water supply.
Very truly yours,
N. J. GIDDINGS, Plant Pathologist.”
On August 30th, the secretary wrote to Dr. J. E. Robins, Charleston, an experienced member of the board, expressing the desire that he “should visit Hinton and make a personal investigation with a view to our improving the water supply if it be within the power of the board to do so. We can at least suggest a remedy." Dr. Robins very kindly consented to make the suggested investigation, and on his return home sent to the secretary the following report:
Charleston, W. Va., Sept. 13, 1913.
Wheeling, W. Va.
At your request I visited Hinton and Avis on September 10th, for the purpose of ascertaining the cause of the impure water supply at those places. I found the following conditions to exist: The intake of water is located a short distance below the junction of the Grenbrier and New Rivers. Above this intake on the Greenbrier side is a hollow in which there is a pond liable to overflow. In this locality also are quite a number