The Small-Pox Epidemic.

May 1892

Mexborough & Swinton Times, May 6th 1892

The Small-Pox Epidemic.

Small-Pox has made its appearance at Denaby, and has spread so rapidly that the pubs are naturally not a little concerned as to the consequences of the epidemic. From one solitary case the infection quickly seized five others and now, we are informed, nearly a dozen persons are thus afflicted. This is a very serious matter, and it behoves the exercise of the most careful vigilance, otherwise we shall be bearing of the contagion having attacked persons at Conisborough, Mexborough, Swinton, and elsewhere in this populous district, where people are constantly moving from place to place.

The Medical Officer will bear us out in thin note of warning, though we have no wish to appear alarmists. But small-pox is one of the most dreaded diseases and, if not fatal, often results in life-long disfigurement. The contagium is conveyed in minute particles of living matter proceeding from a postule. When the materies morbi enters the circulation of an unprotected subject it multiplies within the body, and eventually causes high fever, followed by the breaking out of little pimples, each of a peculiar oval shape and with a central depression. Sufferers are aware of the nature of the complaint by reason of a hot and dry skin, quick pulse, furred tongue, pains in the body and limbs, and by nausea and headache. Children are frequently convulsed when thus seized and adults go into delirium. The most dangerous period is that of suppuration, more especially if the disease be confluent.

Doctor Winton Blyth, alluding to this question, says:—.” First among the preventive means stand effective vaccination. By effective vaccination is meant four large distinct vaccine visicles inoculated on the arm of every child under three months; a second vaccination which may or may not take effect, at the age of ten or twelve; and a third vaccination in another ten of twelve years. When small-pox actually appears every case, however mild, must first be isolated as much as possible. Thin curtains should be fixed to the open windows, so as to allow no flies to go out and in, and fly-catchers should be suspended in different parts of the room. The patient’s body should be well anointed with carbolic acid oil, the excreta received in vessels containing some disinfectant and buried deep in the ground.

The attendants should be thoroughly vaccinated, and all cloths, raga, etc., used to wipe discharges from the month should be burnt. If the patient recovers, he must not be allowed to go out until all desquamation ceases, which will be in about a week after the scabs drop off; and before going out he should have a thorough change of clothing; the skin should be rubbed over with oil and then washed. If the case should be fatal, a coffin should be prepared lined with chloride of lime ; the body shook be laid out only by someone who is protected by vaccination or a previous attack, and it should be covered with disinfectants. Burial as soon as possible is very desirable, and no one should follow the coffin who has not been vaccinated.”

We give this information at the present time in the hope of It proving useful. We are convinced that the various medical gentlemen will do their utmost to enforce caution