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Our readers may have noticed a parsgraph of a few lines which we copied from an exchange into a recent issue, indicating a danger to the colonies of Australia and New Zealand, which certainly needs to be guarded against. It had reference to the number of con* pumptive persons— that is to say persons suffering from phthisis who come out to these colonies m the hope of benefiting by the change of climate. How large that number is may be inferred from the fact stated m the paragraph referred to, namely that the doctor of one of the direct steamers admitted that he had under his care on one trip alone recently no less than $0 consumptive patients. A few years ago this might not have been regarded as cause for alarm, for it was long believed that consumption was an hereditary disease of a non-infectious character, except under circumstances m which healthy persons were placed m almost direct contact with the patients, as for example, by sleeping m the same beds with them. But during recent years the discoveries which have been made m connection with the germ theory have upset all these preconceived opinions, and have shown that the germs of the disease are freely disseminated into the atmosphere . from the breath of consumptives, and that these effecting a lodgment m the lungs of a healthy person may speedily reproduce the malady. In view of this now wellascertained fact, it is manifestly wrong that persons thus diseased should be allowed to occupy the same saloons on shipboard with healthy passengers, for it is almost certain that m so confined a space the communication of their disease to others must take place. Not only ought consumptive patients to be isolated from other passengers— if not restricted to coming out m hospital ships-^-bnt it js open to question whether they should be allowed to travel by public conveyances after landing, pr to occupy the common rooms of hotels. That the danger of their being permitted unrestricted association with all and sundry is a real one.'has been pointed out m a paper onv (l Consumptive Travellers " by Dr. MaoMullen recently published m the " Australasian Medical Gazette," and a copy of which has been forwarded officially by Dr. J.M. Creed, M.L.C., to the President of the New Zealand Central Board of Health. Dr. MacMullen basing his argument upon the admitted infectiousness of pongumption, pointß to its large and increasing prevalence m these colonies, and urges that a check should be placed upon the travelling of consumptive patients with* out any precautions against infection. We notice that the " New Zealand Times " has already drawn public attention to th e matter, and we agree with it that it is one which sbguld be promptly tofc«> up by fte NW £e»}and £o»rd pf

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Bibliographic details

IMPORTING DISEASE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VIII, Issue 2026, 2 January 1889

Word Count

IMPORTING DISEASE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VIII, Issue 2026, 2 January 1889