Smallpox Epidemic, Part XIX

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-02-02 (Smallpox epidemic), p. 8ALL CASES NOT REPORTED

State Health Board Report
Give Interesting Statistics.

Claims More Cases of Smallpox Exist
Than Have Been Reported-High
Death Rate in Central Part.

The State Board of Health has prepared the following report of deaths, contagious diseases, births and marriages for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 1899:

“For the purposes of this report and in order to make comparisons between geographical sections the State is divided into three sections – namely, northern, central and southern. The northern division is bounded on the south by Warren, Tippecanoe, Clinton, Tipton, Madison, Delaware and Randolph counties. These counties comprise the northern tier of the central section. The central section is bounded on the south by Sullivan, Greene, Lawrence, Jackson, Jennings, Ripley and Dearborn counties, and these comprise the northern tier of the southern section. The population of these sections is as follows: Northern, 892,448; central, 1,022,694; southern, 729,838. The total number of deaths for the several sections for the quarter was: Northern, 2,422; central, 3,367; southern, 2,336. The total number of births reported was: Northern, 2,533; central, 4,166; southern, 2,754. Total number of contagious and infectious diseases reported was: Northern, 1,129; central, 1,892; southern, 1,144. The annual rates, calculated on the above quarterly figures, are as follows: Deaths – Northern, 12.8; central, 15.6; southern, 14, per 1,000 of population. Births – The annual rates per 1,000 were as follows: Northern, 13.3; central 16.2; southern, 15. Contagious diseases – The annual rates per 1,000 were as follows: Northern, 50.4; central, 74; southern, 62.

“Of the total number of contagious diseases during the quarter in the whole State there were: Of diphtheria, 1,202, with 347 deaths; scarlet fever, 1,503, with 46 deaths; measles, 181, with 2 deaths; smallpox, 132, no deaths; cerebro-spinal meningitis, 133, with 120 deaths; whooping cough 55, with 28 deaths; typhoid fever, 1,076, with 646 deaths. Total births reported in the whole State, 9,453. Of this number 4,984 were males and 4,469 were females. Of this total 181 were colored, of which 93 were males and 88 females. Still births were 219, plural births 99, illegitimate 154. The total marriages were 7,061. From these figures it appears that the central section of the State for this quarter had the highest death, birth and contagious-disease rate, and in this regard the southern section stands second and the northern third. The number of cases of smallpox reported is far below the truth, because so many cases were mistaken for chicken-pox. There was one death from smallpox in Posey county, but it was not reported, and was discovered by accident, after all reports were tabulated.”

January’s Death Rate.

The records of the City Board of Health show eight more deaths during January than during December, the total for the month being 224. The death rate was heavier during the first of the month than during the latter portion. The largest increase came from pneumonia, twenty-three being recorded during January as against eighteen for December.

BROKE THE QUARANTINE.
Smallpox Suspect Left Terre Haute for Canton, Ill.

Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
TERRE HAUTE, Ind., Feb. 1. –The City Board of Health learned to-day that a smallpox suspect named Peck, whose conditional quarantine was continued for a few hours at the request of his physician, has slipped away from town. This afternoon the Board of Health was asked over the long distance telephone by Canton, Ill., authorities as to the nature of Peck’s disease, saying that he had arrived at his home in that town. There are two other suspects who had been in contact with Peck, and Richard McCloskey, the normal student who has a mild case, was a boarder at the same boarding house.

The city school board will meet to-morrow, and now that the Supreme Court has upheld compulsory vaccination of the pupils of the public schools, an order for vaccination will be issued.

Fifteen Instead of 2,500 Cases.

Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
LINTON, Ind., Feb. 1. – Citizens of Linton and vicinity are greatly wrought up over the report in the Indianapolis Press that 2,500 cases of smallpox existed in Greene county. The report is without foundation, and so far no cases have been reported except in Stockton township, where Linton is situated, and in the vicinity of Jasonville. In Linton there are only three cases, instead of ten, as reported, and these are quarantined with the strictest care. In Wright township, where there is the greatest number of cases, sentries are stationed on each road leading to town to prevent people from the infected parts coming to Linton. A strict quarantine is being enforced by the health officers, and so far no new cases have developed. The postmaster of Linton has never written anything in regard to the disease spreading, and great injustice has been done him and the town by those false reports. The local health officers are doing all they can to prevent the disease from spreading, and so far have it under perfect control. It appears that the number of cases reported includes cases from neighboring counties, but, as to 2,500 cases in Greene county, no such number exists. Not over fifteen are reported in the county.

“All Cases Not Reported,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 2 February 1900, p. 8, col. 5; digital image, Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ : accessed 6 December 2014).

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