Smallpox Epidemic

January 1927

Mexborough & Swinton Times, January 28, 1927

Smallpox Epidemic

Small-pox continues to be a source of worry. Yesterday bills were posted advising vaccination, and informing residents that they may be vaccinated on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m., at Dr. Forde’s surgery at Denaby Main, and Wednesdays and Fridays at 2 p.m. at the Lecture Room, Church Hall Conisborough.

I would suggest that in addition to advising vaccination it would have been useful if the notices had contained a statement of the symptoms of the disease. I understand that the first ‘touches’ resemble ‘flu.’ There is feverishness, often accompanied by vomiting, and pains in the head and neck, between the shoulders and the small of the back. Sometimes there are general muscular pains. The peculiar thing is that these pains disappear in a day or two and the patient returns to work – it is then the patient is infectious. Not until the fourth to the seventh day does the rash make its appearance, and the patient may feel quite well.

The rash often appears on forehead, forearms, and wrists, and afterwards on the body and legs. These spots are round, and of a dull pink or purple colour, and are firm, so that they can be felt with the palm of the hand.

The outbreak is serious enough to warrant special precautions and if any of these symptoms are present there should be no delay in seeing a doctor. We owe these precautions both to ourselves and our fellows.

After having heard about treatment not being all that us desirable it is pleasing to record that a patient this week discharged from the Isolation Hospital had nothing but praise for the treatment and conditions.