The Press. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 1900, THE PLAGUE IN SYDNEY.
We do not wish to be unnecesfarjly alarmint,' but this morning's news, reporting further case? of tha plague in Sydney, should make us all realise with what a terrlb!e danger wa are brought face to face, Two labourers residing, the one at Balmain, the other at Fyrroont—-two of the most crowded districts in Sydney—have been taken ill with symptoms of the bubonic plague, whicih it is supposed had been caught from }•#* pn the wharves or shipping. Every precaution has, of course, been taken/ by Sydney a-tthoritittr, the families have been istrictly quarantined* and a war of extermination- is to be waged against rats. But there is very grave danger that the plague amy spread. Sydney Is one of the beat nurseries 'uv : aU Australasia for Bv»eh a disease, which demands dirt and heat in which to thrive. Both are present in tha threatened city.. The heat oiwnot be avoided, but the filthy lanes, packed with rat-infested hovels that would disgrace the slums of -Conatantinople, -wi'l be a more potent factor in spreading the plague than the heat, It ia this shameful condition oi things which makes the position so serious. Had Sydney been a clean, well laid-out city, had the citizens insisted that the pestiferous" «fluma should b» abolished, then the stamp-ing-out of tho Indeed, it had ever broken out—wou'd havo been a comparatively easy task. As it is, if Sydney escapes a severe viiltataar*. or the plaguy it will be more by good luck than aught ehe. The rats of Sydftey, are legion. There is gqarcelya. house to the older quarters of the town that is not . over-run with them. Quarantine regulation*! are unavailing against such übiquitous purveyors of disease. The deadly battalions of vermin will rush from hovel to hoyei, from slum to flum. W* devoutly trust that Sydney and Australia may be spared Irom a scourge which, if it once got fairly established, would prove terribly fatal. Meanwhile how do we stand in New "Zealand with regard to the menace from .-Vistralia? Visitors lavish compliments upon the cla«n"un*#* of our towns, bub a** all the kind thin*?? they say always weU-deeervsd? Have our seaport town* and cities no slums, no possible ''plague-spots"? ;We wish we could answer the question in the aegadve. | But it would be mad to shut ourselves up in c, fool's paradise. We believe that Christ- : church b in a more sanitary state than -iome other centres in the colony, but even in Christchurch every care should be taken, to keep every hole and comer in the city as clean as pose-hie. We are approaching the time of year when the increasing coolness will help oa in our efforts to ward off the possibility ©f infection, but we iRUtt *..ct trust to that alone. Our seaport*, especially, must redouble their precautions. The Government have done the right thing in ordering plague serum, as we recommended aome weeks ago should be done. Some of Hafikine'a serum has been sent for from India and from England, but it has not jet arrived. In the meantime this colony mast do its best, by strictly enforcing quarantine and by sanitary precautions, to keep beck this great danger that is so perilously near cur gats*.
Permanent link to this item
The Press. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 1900, THE PLAGUE IN SYDNEY., Press, Volume LVII, Issue 10590, 26 February 1900
The Press. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 1900, THE PLAGUE IN SYDNEY. Press, Volume LVII, Issue 10590, 26 February 1900
Using This Item
Fairfax Media is the copyright owner for the Press. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence. This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Fairfax Media. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.
This newspaper was digitised in partnership with Christchurch City Libraries (1921-1945).