REGARDED AS SERIOUS
Dr. Hurty Says The Smallpox Re-
Ports Are Alarming.
In Many Parts of the State People Re-
fuse to Submit to Vaccination –
Dr. Hurty, secretary of the State Board of Health, said yesterday that he would not be surprised if smallpox became epidemic throughout the entire State. He said the people seemed absolutely indifferent to the disease, and not only did they refuse to be vaccinated, but in many cases they threatened with violence the very officer who was trying to throw a safeguard around them. Reports of smallpox and chicken-pox, which in many cases turns out to be smallpox, are being sent in to the State Board from so many different parts of the State that two stenographers are constantly employed in answering the correspondence. So much mail arrives in the morning that it becomes impossible for Dr. Hurty to wade through it before the arrival of the mail in the evening.
Reports were received yesterday that smallpox had again invaded Porter county, this time at Chesterton. In speaking of the report yesterday, Dr. Hurty said wherever else smallpox might appear in Porter county, he was quite sure that it would never be heard of again in Valparaiso, because the people of that city had strictly observed the rules of quarantine established by the State Board. He said it was one of the few places where there was a general inclination to submit to vaccination. To bear out his statement that the people in the infected districts would not submit to vaccination, Dr. Hurty read a letter received yesterday from the health officer of Washington county, who reported that 90 per cent of the people in that county refused to be vaccinated, and when he insisted the people would threaten him in such a menacing manner that he was compelled to leave them. He said the situation in Washington county was very serious, and believed the people would only awaken to their danger when the death which has already occurred was followed by others. He said that certain physicians who have been antagonistic to the State Board ever since the disease was first diagnosed as smallpox, were advising against vaccination and declaring the disease was not smallpox.
Word was also received yesterday by the State Board of many cases of chicken-pox, which is supposed by Dr. Hurty to be smallpox, in Campbellsburg. The disease in this place is prevalent among the adults. Dr. E. D. Laughlin, a member of the State Board, who lives at Orleans, a short distance from Campbellsburg, will visit Campbellsburg to-day for the purpose of diagnosing the disease.
Another severe case of the disease is reported from Brownstown. The special officer of the State Board of Health employed in Clay City reported yesterday that a case of hemorrhagic smallpox had appeared in the family of a Mr. Shannon, who lived in Clay City. Dr. Hurty said the disease in this form was almost certain death.
President Swain, of the State University, and the members of the State Board of Health deeply regret a dispatch in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, credited to an Indianapolis correspondent, which stated that the university would be closed on account of the prevalence of the disease among the pupils. Dr. Hurty said yesterday that he could not imagine how such a statement could have ever been made, as there never was any intention either on the part of the authorities of the university or of the State Board to close the university.
Many appeals are being made to the State Board for vaccine matter for the poor in the districts infected with smallpox, but as the law provides that the county shall be required to pay its own expenses for the enforcement of health laws, the State Board is unable to comply with the request.
Smallpox Near Princeton.
Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
PRINCETON, Ind., Jan. 27. – Four cases of smallpox, in the worst form have developed near Haubstadt, south of here. One case is within a hundred feet of a schoolhouse, where the children have been attending school up to this time. The county health officer is making a full investigation and will establish quarantine. The community is terrified, as the nature of the disease was not suspected.
“Regarded As Serious,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 28 January 1900, p. 8, col. 2; digital image, Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ : accessed 6 December 2014).