Diphtheria Causes Anxiety

   Posted by: admin   in Disease, Quarantine

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Dec. 1, 1903

Diphtheria Causes Anxiety

Spread of Disease Rapid During Past Few Days

Five New Cases Reported at the City Hall Today – Schools May Be Fumigated Saturday.

Five new cases of diphtheria were reported on the bulletin board at the city hall today. Quarantine was established at the following homes:

Nels Greber, 235 South Thirteenth street, West Fort Dodge.

Gotleib Proeschold, 427 Third avenue south.

Mrs. J.W. Flaherty, 1726 Fifth avenue south.

H.M. Limm, 1216 Eleventh avenue south.

The Kirkpatrick home, 1227 Fifth avenue south.

The rapid spread of the disease has again attracted the attention of physicians, the health authorities and the public in general. The character of the quartine (sic) maintained on homes where the disease exists has not been allowed to relax and so far the health authorities can give no reason for the recent unexpected spread when the disease was thought to be well in  hand. Some physicians say that while diphtheria is not what is usually termed a contagious disease it is nevertheless more contagious than has been supposed.

It is not unlikely that Saturday all the schools of the city will be fumigated and allowed to be aired the following day.

(Editor’s note: Diphtheria was the cause of death of my great-grandmother’s father and sister, and quite likely her two brothers as well, in 1879. All four died in about a three-week period. It is part of the recommended immunization schedule for children in the U.S. and currently there are only about five cases a year. However, this is one of those shots you have to renew about every 10 years, so if you haven’t had one in that time, you might want to see your doctor.)

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