Smallpox Epidemic, Part XXXI

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-02-17 (Smallpox epidemic)CRIMINAL INDIFFERENCE.
Attitude of the Clay City People to
the Smallpox Epidemic.

Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
CLAY CITY, Ind., Feb. 16. – New cases of smallpox are of almost daily occurrence in this vicinity, owing largely to indifference to the disease. This indifference is partly accounted for in the fact that only one death has occurred and in the additional fact that some professional men and many of the nonprofessional stoutly maintain that it is not smallpox and not dangerous. Several family, released after about two weeks’ quarantine, have been quarantined a second time owing to other members of the family having contracted the disease. Cases have existed in some families for days before being reported to the health officer, the father of one of these families going to and from his home and attending to business down town as usual.
One young man, sent home on the 15th of January, all broken out with the disease, was at work in his shop, as usual, on the 27th.
Last Saturday a man thickly broken out stood in the postoffice lobby, along with fifty or more persons.
The persons quarantined at G. J. Kaysor’s continue to drink from a dipper chained to a pump at the sidewalk for the accommodation of the public.
A young man named Drummond was running about the streets last week, thickly broken out, and had to be forced to go home and the house carded.
There are many other cases like those mentioned.
W. T. Damer, quarantined for twenty-one days, and sick throughout the period, was released on the 14th inst. He was literally covered with the eruptions. For many days Mr. Damer could not stand. Many cases like his could be cited.
It is reported that between twenty-five and thirty houses in the township, outside of Clay City, are carded, and somewhat fewer in town, which shows a large decrease for the town. The township schools, including Middlebury, a mile away, reopened on the 12th inst. There were three new cases in Middlebury the first of the week, but the disease is being rapidly checked there.

“Criminal Indifference,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 17 February 1900, p. 2, col. 3; digital image, Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ : accessed 6 December 2014).

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