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Studying Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis.

(•'New York Sum." The spread of the deadly cerebeo-spinal j meningitis has aroused the Health Department to the necessity of a systematic and thorough investigation into the cause of the disease and the possibility of, if not a cure, atlea3t a remedy by which the high rate of mortality of meningitis may b« ' lowered. It is a curious thing that m spite of the progress made m medical science m j the last fifty years there seems to be little ! ir.ore of praotical value known about this dir>ea3G than there was three or four docades ago, when it was popularly called the spotted fever. Since then it has been dipcove- ed that it is a germ disease, and that fcho inierjobe onters the nose and finds lodg raont m the brain. Occasionally the public is informed that some cure for it has been discovered, but none of these nostrums thus far tried has effected the slightest disease m tbo number of deaths caused by the disease. Epidemics of meningitis have apparently no regular periods of recurrence, nor do they seem to arise from any wejj denned set of conditions, Ifc is true that most the victims rtro children, especially those from 1 to 5 yoars of age, and that the vast majority of them come from tha poorer At the Faire time it is contined to no one district or street, or block of the city, whera specie! conditions might give rise to its spread. The popular belief is that epidemics of meningitis follow revere winters, but the history of the disease shows that this is not entirely truo. The last great epidemic of the disease m this city prior to the present outbreak occirred m j872. In ten months of that year, or from January Ist to November Ist. there were reporfctd to the Health Deoarfcraeat a total of 990 cases of which 761, or neavly 77 p:n- cent, proved fatal. At that ti-ae tlie methods of gathering aud classifying vital statistics we-e not nearly fo complete as at ptostut, aud it is safe to a-:.nutif) that a groat many cixses either wsro not reported at all or were reported luuiur s.ujm other head. In al»n:>at every c»..e ll>e ■■ ictira iir.eci m the tenement diet -i( ts of (he' Ea?t - i<-e, but the disease! ras*od ii- fiireo'y amoug families who- kept their rooms s-crupubnsly clean as among 1 those w!io lived m filth and sqralor. For nine months proauiing the struts wore unusually dirty, just as they aye now, but from a different cause. Instead of unusually cold weachev m 1872, tho tfiapeiaturu Wi)s abnormally hi^h. Tbo Ri'.rtsar.-r was excessively h;n, wii.h s lare'sly any run. ft was during thi? peoiod that mi'Sfc of tho de-itha occurrc-.-d. F-.K years prior to 1572, j'ist as for yen:--prior to 1904, littie or nothirg whs hi'ttrd of thedi-eair-e m this city. Thus m 18f>>; only ei^hteflu casns were reported ; iv 18G", thirty-two: m 1563, thirty-fonr; m 1869, m 1870, thirty-two; and m 1871, fortyeight. De.sp;t9 tl;e increase m the population m tho meantime there were only 271 fatal oases herein 1903, while m tho following year the total futilities ascribed to it hadjumped to the enormuos total of 1211. In Jann>. ,/, 1904, there were twentyfivo 'deaths from the disease, while m January of this year there were 107. In February, 1904, there were twenty-six deaths, whilo last month there were 149. The onset of this disease is sudden and its course rapid and fatal.


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Bibliographic details

Studying Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XX, Issue 6582, 29 May 1905

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Studying Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XX, Issue 6582, 29 May 1905

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