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by yellow fever patients or found in infected houses last year be destroyed and paid for by the State.
This was resisted by the State Health Officer, who denied the necessity for it and the motion to concur was finally tabled — which action, however, in my opinion, does not fairly represent the views of the Conference, but the matter had become so personal that no other course seemed open.
In the evening Surgeon Sternberg, of the U. S. Army, delivered an address on disease germs with lantern illustrations, in which the claims of various observers in Brazil, Mexico and Cuba to the discovery and identification of the specific organism producing yellow fever were shown to be false ; the statement being made by him as a result of prolonged bacteriological and microscopical research that thus far the organism had escaped detection.
On motion of Mr. Clarke, of the Mobile & Ohio R. R., a resolution was pissed providing for the appointment of a committee of one from each State for the purpose of formulating rules for the government of quarantine, which rules shall be published and recommended for general adoption and observance. This committee was appointed the following day with Mr. Clarke as Chairman, and was given time for the formulation of rules with authority to publish them when agreed upon.
The session Friday was devoted mainly to the hearing and discussion of a paper by Dr. D. M. Burgess, United States Sanitary Inspector of Havana, who described fully the methods and measures employed on the principal steamer lines entering our Southern ports to prevent infection to crews and vessels, and the transportation of infected passengers and baggage. It was developed during the discussion that the Spanish government merely tolerates the presence of this official at the port of Havana, and was.only induced to permit it by an intimation from our Government that a refusal would of necessity be followed by a sanitary embargo of that port in the interest of public health in this country.
He stated that the principal lines plying between Cuba and the Southern States were anxious to fully observe and enforce on their vessels all reasonable sanitary regulations, and that the danger to the United States did not lie in this direction, but in a fleet of small swift vessels sailing out of Havana ostensibly engaged in fishing, but actually constantly engaged in smuggling along the Florida coast, from Tampa northward. In addition to carrying and handling infected persons and things from Havana the vessels themselves are extremely foul, and usually deemed infected with the fever poison.
Recognizing this danger the Conference passed a resolution calling on the General Government to increase the maritime patrol service along the Florida coast to the extent necessary to break up this dangerous trade, contraband alike of the public health and of revenue laws.
In this connection the following was offered by a committee to whom resolutions relating to the chronically infected condition of Havana were referred :
Resolved, That this Conference is of the opinion that it is a duty devolving upon all nations to take measures to eradicate any plague centers from its territory, and that the existence of such plague center is a menace to all other nations, and that our state department be requested to take measures through proper diplomatic channels for the conveyance of this opinion to the government deemed obnoxious to the opinion as herein expressed.
During the discussion concerning the sanitary condition of Deciltur a hint was dropped by a citizen of that town that the situation there was more serious than was generally known or suspected.
The newspapers promptly took the matter up and publication was made of the fact that a young woman had died there a few weeks before, after a short sickness with suspicious symptoms, and that she had occupied å bed previous to her illness which hiid been used last fall by two yellow fever patients, both of whom died. So much uneasiness on the part of the public was manifested as a result of this publication that I concluded to stop off at Decatur on my return, which I did, reaching there at 1 a. m. the 8th inst. in comp:iny with the presidents of the Alabama and Tennessee State Boards of Health.
Friday was devoted to the investigation of the facts connected with the suspicious case-- the cause of death being certified to hy the attending physician as Gastritis — with the result of not entirely removing all doubt as to the true cause of death.
Certainly there is a considerable degree of uneasiness and apprehension in Northern Alabama and in Southern Tennessee, and personal inquiries and investigation at Chattanooga on Saturday convinced me of the readiness of the people of that city to promptly resort to a shot-gun quarantine should such a step appear necessary.
Considerable feeling exists, especially at Decatur, toward the State official who stands in the way of securing the prompt and complete destruction of all infected or suspected household goods. The town is poor and unable to raise means for this purpose, or to thoroughly cleanse and drain the place, although some superficial work, such as graveling the streets, is being done.
Considering the unusual warmth of the winter and the probability of an early spring, it cannot be said that the situation as regards yellow fever is entirely reassuring; and the need for sanitary vigilance every where, with financial means to secure prompt and efficient action must be evident not only to public health officials, but to every business man whose interests demand uninterrupted transportation facilities by river and rail. All of which is respectfully submitted.
Secretary State Board of Health. St. Louis, Mo., March 14, 1889.
REPORT ON PROCEEDINGS OF SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL MEETING OF AMERICAN PUBLIC
TO THE HON. STATE BOARD OF HEALTH.
I have the honor to submit herewith the following report on the seventeenth annual meeting of the American Public Health Association which convened in the City of Brooklyn, on Tuesday, October 220, the meeting continuing four days.
The attendance throughout the meeting was quite large, although naturally the Mississippi Valley was not so well represented in numbers as has been the case when the Association met in more central localities.
The arrangements perfected for the accommodation of the Association and for the convenience and comfort of visitors were very satisfactory, and reflected credit on the committee having them in charge. Not the least interesting feature of the meeting was the exhibition held in a separate building at which a considerable showing was made of sanitary appliances and conveniences relating to honse drainage and other concerns of personal, domestic, municipal, military and general hygiene.
The meeting was opened at 10 o'clock Tuesday morning, the program, so far as papers were concerned, being as follows:
“ The Overshadowing of our Homes," by W. F. Parker, M. D., of Newport, R. I. ; “ Clothing in its Relation to Hygiene,” by J. F. Hibberd, M. D., of Richmond, Ind.
The discussion on the first subject developed that the people of New Haven suffered to some extent from malarial troubles which were by some attributed to the dense shading of streets and houses by the elms, for which that city among other things is noted; and the point was made that an excess of that which in proper amouvt was wholesome and desirable was harmful to the public health and an extreme in this direction was therefore to be avoided.
The paper by Dr. Hibberd was well received.
“ Causes and Prevention of Infant Mortality,” by Jerome Walker, M. D., of Brooklyn; “ The Relation of the Dwellings of the Poor to Infant Mortality,” by Alfred E. White, C. E., of Brooklyn, and “ A Suggested Minimum Basis of Compensation to Local Health Officers," by myself.
The subjects of the two first papers were quite fully discussed following the reading, and also later in the meeting when a paper on a similar subject was read, and certainly no question needs to be more carefully considered and debated than those concerning the ways and means of saving from sickness and death the infant and childhood elements of a population,
Attention was called to improprieties in food, dress and environment to which infancy and childhood are subjected through ignorance, carelessness or necessity on the part of parents or others having them in charge, measures in the way of food and management were pointed out which would no doubt accomplish considerable in the way of ameliorating distress and palliating some of the crying evils generally recogvized; but to me it appeared that the prime necessity existing, not alone in regard to infancy, childhood and youth, but as concerns the mass of adult city populations is to recognize, remedy or direct the profound social forces which in cities more and more inexorably crowd and mass people against their will into narrow circumstances and conditions which must inevitably beget a high rate of disease and death, in spite of the best efforts of sanitarians to the contrary; and from infected centers thus created and establisbed menace all else with whom communication is had.
The paper presented by me was the last on the program and owing to the lateness of the hour was not fully discussed; the basis of compensation suggested seemed, however, to be regarded with favor by some of the more experienced sanitarians present.
The evening session was devoted to the addresses of welcome on the part of the city authorities and local representatives, and to the delivery of the address of the President, Dr. H. A. Johnson. This was confined principally to a review of the progress of hygiene during the last centuries in the civilized world, and to indicating the promises it holds out to coming generations if intelligently and perseveringly pursued.
The morning hours on Wednesday were taken up by Surgeon J. S. Billings, of the Army, with a paper on “ The United States Census and its Relation to Sanitation ;” and “ The Prevention of Phthisis Pulmonalis and Methods for its Limitation," by E. M. Huut, M. D., Secretary State Board of Health of New Jersey.
The first paper pointed out some of the methods and means by which it was expected thit valuible data pertaining to public health would be secured in connection with the taking of the census next year, the information to be sought comprising density of population in cities, municipal water supplies, drainage, altitude, etc., and the earnest co