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* Our scientific men have ja»t formulated another terror for timid folk. Dr Low, of tbe Local Government Board, .soggests that the epidemlo of diphtheria whlp'i hu lately vialted Enfield was largely propagated by means of cats. Mr Darwiu long •go taught ad the clover crop li dependent on- the number of maiden ladles m the district, Foz the ladles keep oats, and cats destroy the field mica, which prey on the bees, which, m their turn are all Im portant agents m the fertilisation of tho clover flowers. Bat Dr Low conneoit diphtheria with the domestic tabbies by no eoob iotrloate ohain of causes ao-3 effects. He finds that oats eat remnants of the food served to diphtheritic patients, or drink tbe remains of milk which they have been trying to swallow, or la some way come into possession of the deadly germs of what Is notoriously one of the most Infectious of diseases. Then the snlma's play with healthy children, who possibly redouble their »ffeotionate dandlings of ' pussy ' on the ground that It is ' unwell ' and it is only discovered too late that the oat has been suffering from ofphtherls, and that they have inadvertently been . infected. Ii is therefore quite possible, indeed, more than probable — that In the course of idle wanderings the most Immaculate tabby that purrs on the hearthrug, and seems to be the very pink of chaste and domestic models, has been caterwauling half the night m company with an Indiscriminate collection from the fever or the smallpox hospital or has been Indulging In at) alter* cation with a oat from some olty coutt where half the family are down with smallpox, and where ringworm is regarded »s an endemic disease. All this is quite possible, and as Dr. Low's cases go to prove, it may not nnfrequently be a means whereby not only diphtheria but many other Infectious diseases are carried from bouse to house, and from street to street Id spite of the most stringent Isolation, and of all tbe precautions whloh sanitary soienoe has suggested. At the same time, there Is no cause for panic — " Standard."

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Bibliographic details

CATS AS PROPAGATORS OF EPIDEMICS, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2033, 10 January 1889

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CATS AS PROPAGATORS OF EPIDEMICS Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2033, 10 January 1889