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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/360

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344
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

No tuberculosis had ever been known in any of the families, except perhaps in the case of one grandmother, who had marks of former abscesses in her neck. A and his wife lived on dry soil. They had nine children, all of whom remained healthy. The house of B, on the other hand, was on damp soil. His wife and six of his eleven children died of consumption, and one of the survivors was ill with the disease when the observations were made.

The importance of these predisposing conditions can only be realized by knowing that the large majority of consumptives have never lived with others similarly affected. The disease is in these cases a result of a combination of circumstances into which direct known exposure has not entered. Nor can immunity be secured by shunning the sick. In fact, nothing further is required to protect those of sound health and heredity, who are obliged to associate with consumptives, than scrupulous cleanliness and an abundant supply of fresh air and sunshine. If, in addition, the sputum and everything soiled by it are destroyed and disinfected, the sick become harmless to all. The human body has within it the capacity of preventing the lodgment and growth of the tubercle bacillus. This capacity is only overcome as a result of hereditary or acquired influences. It is against these that the efforts of every one can and ought to be directed.

 


DISINFECTION AT QUARANTINE.

A FLOATING DISINFECTING PLANT.

By M. E. WARD.

THE necessity of thorough precautionary quarantine methods is generally accepted. The adoption and adaptation of methods and apparatus to keep pace with the knowledge that scientific research has placed at command is a matter that directly concerns the public and the departments of public health. That ceaseless watchfulness should be maintained, that trained diligence combined with high scientific skill should be a means to attain efficiency, that appliances in use should combine simplicity with efficiency, that in their operation delay of all kinds should be avoided, and that the individual should receive consideration and every comfort and convenience enlightened civilization can provide, are axiomatic facts.

Our great seaports and ports of entry are the centers most exposed to contagion and infection. Disease germs from the civilized and uncivilized parts of the world tend to drift there, carried by an ever-moving stream of emigration and traffic. The larger the center, the greater the number that pass through it to