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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/2040

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is appended a Quarantine table showing the length of time which should elapse after the various infectious diseases before the patient should mix freely with the outside world.

Isolation and Disinfection.—When any member of a family is attacked with small-pox, scarlet fever, diphtheria, or other contagious disease, the malady may generally be prevented from extending by attention to the following rules: Place the patient in one of the upper rooms of the house, the furthest removed from the rest of the family, where the best ventilation and isolation are to be had. He should be under the sole charge of a nurse who is protected by a previous attack of the disease. The apartment should be at first cleared of all curtains, carpets, woollen goods, and unnecessary furniture. To secure the utmost cleanliness, provide a basin partly filled with chloride of lime or strong carbolic acid solution (a teaspoonful of acid to half a pint of water), in which the patient may expectorate when necessary. Change the clothing and bedding of the patient as often as needful, but never let the cast-off articles be carried dry through the house.

A large pail or bath containing carbolic acid solution (4 fluid ozs. of carbolic acid to each gallon of water) should always stand in the room, for the reception of bed or body linen immediately after it has been removed from contact with the patient. The nurse should wear in the chamber a loose gown and tight-fitting cap, to be thrown off at the door, and the hands should be washed, before going out, with the carbolic acid water. Pocket-handkerchiefs and napkins should not be used, but in their stead pieces of rag, which should be at once burned. A solution of carbolic acid, 1 teaspoonful to 4 ozs. of water, should frequently be sprayed over the patient and his bed, about the room and over the nurse's dress.

Glasses, cups, dishes, etc., must be scrupulously cleansed in fresh carbolic acid solution, or in boiling water, before they are carried away from the room. All discharges from the body are to be received at once into vessels containing some disinfectant, such as a solution of per-chloride of mercury, 1 part per 1,000 of water, or the carbolic solution, and immediately removed under cover. They should be thoroughly disinfected before poured down the drains. A sheet kept moistened with carbolic acid solution of double strength, or half a pint to the gallon, should be hung over the door outside, or beyond in the passage way, for the purpose of catching any germs of the disease which might otherwise escape. Boiling is the surest way of disinfecting contaminated clothing, or it may be baked in an oven heated to about 240° Fahr.

After the disease is over, the patient should be kept isolated for 10 days after all the scabs fall off in small-pox, or after desquamation ("peeling" of the skin) is complete in scarlet fever; for the last week of his seclusion, baths should be given daily, or every other day, containing carbolic acid, Sanitas, or other disinfectant, and every part