Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/60

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
52
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

should be assisted by the stomach tube and by irrigation of the colon. In one of the cases seen by the writer large doses of morphine had been administered in order to check the vomiting and purging and to relieve the pain; in this case death resulted. The danger of arresting the elimination of the poison in all cases of food poisoning can not be too emphatically condemned.

Meat Poisoning.—The diseases most frequently transmitted from the lower animals to man by the consumption of the flesh or milk of the former by the latter are tuberculosis, anthrax, symptomatic anthrax, pleuro-pneumonia, trichinosis, mucous diarrhœa, and actinomycosis. It hardly comes within the scope of this article to discuss in detail the transmission of these diseases from the lower animals to man. However, the writer must be allowed to offer a few opinions concerning some mooted questions pertaining to the consumption of the flesh of tuberculous animals. Some hold that it is sufficient to condemn the diseased part of the tuberculous cow, and that the remainder may be eaten with perfect safety. Others teach that "total seizure" and destruction of the entire carcass by the health authorities are desirable. Experiments consisting of the inoculation of guinea pigs with the meat and meat juices of tuberculous animals have given different results to several investigators. To one who has seen tuberculous animals slaughtered, these differences in opinion and in experimental results are easily explainable. The tuberculous invasion may be confined to a single gland, and this may occur in a portion of the carcass not ordinarily eaten; while, on the other hand, the invasion may be much more extensive and the muscles may be involved. The tuberculous portion may consist of hard nodules that do not break down and contaminate other tissues in the process of removal, but the writer has seen a tuberculous abscess in the liver holding nearly a pint of broken-down infected matter ruptured or cut in removing this organ, and its contents spread over the greater part of the carcass. This explains why one investigator succeeds in inducing tuberculosis in guinea pigs by introducing small bits of meat from a tuberculous cow into the abdominal cavity, while another equally skillful bacteriologist follows the same details and fails to get positive results.

No one desires to eat any portion of a tuberculous animal, and the only safety lies in "total seizure" and destruction. That the milk from tuberculous cows, even when the udder is not involved, may contain the specific bacillus has been demonstrated experimentally. The writer has suggested that every one selling milk should be licensed, and the granting of a license should be dependent upon the application of the tuberculin test to every cow from which