Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/151

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147
THE TYPHOID FLY

Among other circumstances favorable for an epidemic at Hibbing, we must not forget to mention the fact that the city sewer, receiving the refuse from this town of about 12,000 or more people, empties into an open creek not more than half a mile from the city. This creek is crossed by two or more bridges, over which delivery wagons pass many times a day to outlying towns. We stopped our carriage at one of these bridges, and watched the slowly moving filth for a short time, noting, upon driving to town, that we brought from that locality many flies upon the vehicle we occupied. Multiply this incident by a hundred and you have an idea of the many daily opportunities presented to flies for reaching the various towns in the vicinity.

This siege of typhoid had been preceded by one of dysentery earlier in the season, but this first appearance of dysentery was directly traceable to the water, for at that time the sterilizing plant had not been installed, and men had been working for some time in the shaft from which Hibbing got its water supply. I was told by a local physician that they could predict, in that town, an epidemic of typhoid after one of dysentery—dysentery appearing to make the system especially susceptible to the former disease. In this town alone, about the middle of May, there were nearly or quite 2,000 cases of dysentery, which ceased at once upon the purification of the water; and there was considerable dysentery present at the time of our vist, without question due to fly infection. It differed from the water-caused dysentery in

PSM V79 D151 Unsanitary conditions at a boarding house.png
A Mixers' Boarding House in Town. In the summer time mosquito netting is thrown over the table, confining large numbers of flies which crawl over the exposed food.