Previous Index Next
Page 325
(previous) (Page 000325) (next)

what measures should be taken to stay an outbreak of
typhoid fever which had occurred in a large convent about
two miles from Bristol. The inmates were divided into
three distinct divisions ; the largest being a reformatory for
girls, who occupied the central block of the building. Into
' this reformatory the fever was brought by a girl already
suffering from it, and who had contracted it in a sea-side
place more than twenty miles off. From this girl the dis-
ease spread until, at the date of my visit, more than fifty
girls were lying ill of it. From first to last the fever was
confined to the reformatory girls, and to persons in immedi-
ate attendance upon them.

“ Now, the facts as to the drinking-water were these :

“ 1. The water was proved by examination of the well,
and by chemical analysis, to be entirely free from sewage

“2. The inmates of another large division of the con-
vent, who remained entirely free from fever, drank the same
water as the girls among whom fever was raging like a

“ 3. From the very time when disinfection was brought
to bear on the excreta the disease ceased to spread, although
the inmates of the infected division continued to drink the
same water as before.

“ Lastly, nothing has since been done to the well—the
water remains what it was—-—but no fever has occurred in
the convent since.

“ The evidence in both these cases is, as you see, of that
crucial, decisive order that admits of no reply.

“ They show, at least, that typhoid fever may do its
worst where drinking-water takes absolutely no part in the
distribution of the poison.

“ But if water be excluded, the air is the only other
possible vehicle by which a poison generated in the living
body can find its way back to other living bodies on a scale

Previous Index Next