Smallpox Epidemic, Part XXXVII

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-02-24 (Smallpox epidemic)QUARANTINE IS FARCICAL.
Smallpox Situation Steadily Growing
Worse – Change of Sentiment

Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
CLAY CITY, Ind., Feb. 23. – The so-called quarantine for smallpox at this place seems to be a miserable failure in every respect, except in the way of killing business and saddling on the town an enormous debt. Person broken out with the disease get out on the street and mingle with the crowd, and the only action taken so far to prevent a repetition of the act has been to send them home on a promise to be good.

A pesthouse was rigged up several weeks ago, but no person has been required to occupy it yet, thought the quarantine has been violated repeatedly. Many person have been released from quarantine while covered with sores, and permitted to go on the streets and into places of business while in this condition. Persons who do not care to come in contact with the disease have frequently been compelled to go out of their way or retreat from such cases.

It is reported that butter is being brought to market from farmhouses where there are smallpox patients.

All the practicing physicians, except Dr. Wolfe, now agree that the disease is smallpox. There seems to be a much greater per cent of bad cases now than formerly. Public opinion has undergone quite a change since Dr. Hurty first pronounced the disease smallpox. Then he was denounced as an alarmist and a crank. Now almost everybody says he is right and that an “effective” quarantine would be the proper thing. About a dozen houses have been carded within the last week, and unless more stringent measures are resorted to it will be a long time till the disease is stamped out.

“Quarantine Is Farcical,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 24 February 1900, p. 2, col. 5; digital image, Chronicling America ( : accessed 6 December 2014).

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