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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/452

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434
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

—more fatal, especially in the months of July and August, than during any other period of the year. These are the "zymotic diseases," or those depending upon some form of germ life. The following table illustrates the course of mortality from those diseases in one year:

 
Month. Deaths. Month. Deaths.
January 641 July 1,433
February 475 August 1,126
March 476 September 791
April 554 October 522
May 584 November 460
June 798 December 504
 

It appears that during eight months of the year, excluding June, July, August, and September, the average monthly mortality from "zymotic diseases" was 452. Had the same average continued during the remaining four months the total mortality from those diseases for that year would have been 4,424; but the actual mortality was 7,764, which proves that 3,340 persons were sacrificed during those four fatal months to conditions which exist in the city only at that period of the year. Still more startling is the estimate of the sickness rate caused by the unhealthful conditions created in the summer months in New York city. If we estimate that there are twenty cases of sickness for every death by a zymotic disease there were 66,800 more cases of sickness in the year above referred to than there would have been had the sickness rate been the same in the summer as in the other months of that year.

One of the saddest features of this high sickness and death rate appears when we notice the ages of those who are especially the victims of these fatal diseases. During the week ending July 9th last there were 399 deaths from diarrhœal diseases, of which number 382 were children under five years of age. The following table taken from the records of the Health Department show in a very striking manner how fatal to child life are the conditions peculiar to our summer season:

 
Month. deaths from diarhœal diseases.
Under one
year.
Under two
years.
Under five
years.
All ages.
January 50 55 58 82
February 47 51 58 75
March 75 80 83 96
April 82 91 97 108
May 101 117 121 104
June 387 430 436 467
July 809 990 1,020 1,100
August 464 565 697 762
September 267 394 409 462
October 114 148 154 190
November 59 70 72 89
December 57 62 64 82