Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/152

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

symptoms and results, being mild, the patient having but little pain and nausea, and scarcely any fever, and further, in the latter mentioned cases, the patients lost no time from their work.

We made the statement that this latter epidemic of dysentery was due to fly infection. I think we speak advisedly upon this point, and can perhaps convince you that the spread of dysentery can be laid at

PSM V79 D152 Austrian working men.png
Austrians.

the door of the house fly in addition to other serious charges. Dysentery is rather a broad term, covering a number of very closely allied intestinal disorders, all presenting, however, the same general symptoms. We are told by physicians that there is no one specific germ of dysentery, and that it is apparently caused by an excess in the alimentary canal of a number of germs—Bacillus coli is one—found in manure and filth, germs normally existing in comparatively small numbers in a healthy individual. Now, about two years ago, almost all the inmates of a certain institution in Minnesota suddenly developed symptoms of intestinal disorder, which could be likened to dysentery. This was in the cold season, when no flies were present. The trouble was traced unmistakably to drinking water, which was contaminated by the stoppage of the sewer from the institution, causing sewage to back up and enter the well. These conditions, I am happy to say, have been rectified long