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WAR AND PEACE
It is tragic that a million or so of men should have perished in battle during the last six months of 1914, and that many more should have been wounded. It is also tragic that a million and a half men, women and children should have died in 1914 in the United States, and that some three million people should be on the sick list all the time. The most fearful thing about the European War is that it seems to us at this distance so wantonly needless. Yet over forty per cert of our annual toll of civil death and suffering is needless also.
These facts and this comparison are trite and familiar. Yet public health officials seeing close at hand the problems of preventable disease, and the meager efforts made to solve them, often wonder whether we really believe these things, and if we do, why we do not act upon our knowledge.
It is no mere rhetorical phrase that 600,000 people died needlessly in the United States in 1914. First of all, a quarter of a million infants were carried off before they had rounded out the first year of life. Think of what the suffering of a little baby's death means, and realize that this tragedy has come to more than one in ten of all the households gladdened by birth during the year. Yet nothing is more certain than that nearly half of these infant deaths are preventable, and by simple and definite procedures. The children who escape the perils of infancy are next exposed to the attack of such communicable diseases as diphtheria, scarlet fever, measles and whooping cough. When the army of civil life is actually mustered in for active service, the enemies, typhoid fever and tuberculosis, make their great frontal attacks.
Finally, the veterans of our army, who have resisted all earlier attacks are exposed to their own peculiar dangers. Diseases of the heart and arteries, Bright's Disease, and cancer, together carry off 300,000 men and women every year, and we are face to face with the sinister fact that, while at every other point of the battle line we are at least holding our own, these diseases of later life appear to be actually on the increase.
Is it not time we mobilized effectively for Public Health?
PROGRAM OF CONSTRUCTIVE HEALTH WORK FOR
NEW YORK STATE IN 1915 The principal elements in the broad program of the New York State Department of Health and of progressive local boards of health for the coming year may be stated briefly as follows:
I To organize Infant Welfare Stations throughout the State for the instruction of mothers in infant feeding and infant care, so that the great waste of infant life which now results from maternal ignorance may be checked; and particularly to encourage breast feeding wherever possible.
2 To reduce still further our generally low rate from typhoid fever, and diarrheal disease by securing the purification of water supplies, the pasteurization of milk, greater cleanliness in the preparation of foods, and proper disposal of household and community wastes.
3 For the reduction of these and other diseases, to secure the safety of milk and cream supplies throughout the State.
4 To better control such communicable diseases as diphtheria, scarlet fever, measles and whooping cough by the more general use of antitoxin in diphtheria, and by prompt isolation, education and the cultivation of habits of personal cleanliness which will do more than anything else to check the spread of disease from carriers and unrecogr.ized cases.
5 To check the spread of tuberculosis and effect the cure of existing cases by securing institutional treatment for cases requiring such care, and home treatment under the supervision of visiting nurses for the rest.
6 To increase the general standard of health and efficiency by a campaign of popular education as to the control by personal hygiene and medical care of the constitutional diseases of later life, such as cancer, diseases of the heart, blood vessels and kidneys, which in contrast to the communicable diseases are now alarmingly on the increase.
The Commissioner of Health has set before the State a clear and splendid goal — the saving of 25,000 lives within the next five years.
Don't think of this as a statistical formula. Think of 25,000 people – men, women, and children who will die before 1920 if we do not save them, but whom we can save if we only get help to them in time.
Will you not do your part to make this year Health Year in the State of New York and Health Year in your town?
JANUARY The ground is covered with crisp snow which glistens even under the lights of the city streets, and out in the country the fences are half buried in the white drifts. The sleigh bells and the voices of the children on their way to school sound merrily through the crisp, cold air. It is the kind of morning when everyone feels happy and full of life and vigor - almost everyone. There are some exceptions. Here and there you see a poor man going along the street, not with head up drawing the splendid air into his lungs, but wrapped up and sneezing and using his handkerchief every other minute. Or you see a little boy looking gloomily out of the window as his friends run by with their sleds in the early afternoon. He too, has a cold in the head.
How to avoid colds Colds are caused by germs, and whenever you develop a cold it means that these germs have begun to grow in your nose or throat and produce poisons that are absorbed into your body and give you that peculiar miserable feeling that only a cold can produce. Some people never seem to catch cold, vigorous people who live a healthy outdoor life and strengthen their bodies by cold baths, while other people who keep themselves shut up in hot, close rooms and take no exercise are very apt to take cold when they suffer from unusual exposure to chill or fatigue. There is something besides the germ at work, and often a lack of power to resist the germ is the immediate thing that decides whether a cold will develop or not.
Often, however, colds behave just like any other communicable disease. Some one person in the family“ catches " cold and brings the germs home, and one after another the other members of the family contract it.
If you want to avoid colds in your house, watch for the first sneezes and try to keep the germs from spreading. Make the victim cough or sneeze in his handkerchief, and after the handkerchiefs are soiled, put them in a special dish, cover them with water and boil them for fifteen minutes. Boil the spoons and dishes he uses and keep him away from the preparation and handling of food that other people are to eat. Keep separate glasses for him. Remember that his hands are
sure to be infected with cold ” germs and that if they are carried to someone else's mouth, the next case will be likely to follow. So make him wash his hands in running water before he handles things that other people use, and make everybody wash his hands before eating and keep his hands and everything not clean out of his mouth.
In particular, the greatest care should be taken to protect babies from infection since colds often lea 1 to fatal disease in infants.
3 4 5 6. 7. 8 9 10. II.
12. 13. 14. 15
Fri.... New Year's Day.
Diphtheria antitoxin first used by N. Y. City
of the University of State of N. Y. and
7.21 Mon.. Utah admitted, 1896.,
7.21 Tues.. Registrars, Mail Dec. Birth and Death Cert.. 7.21 Wed.. New Mexico admitted, 1912..
Ezra Cornell born, 1807.
7.19 Thur.. Benedict Arnold born, 1741.
7.17 Tues. Robert E. Lee born, 1807.
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16. 17 18. 19 20. 21
4.53 4.54 4.56 4.57 4.58 4.59
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25 26. 27 28 29 30 31.
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5.07 5.09 5.10 5.II
FEBRUARY We often get our coldest days in February, as if old Winter was bringing up his reserves and trying desperately to stave off the final victory of the sun. Toward the end of the month, however, he begins to lose his hold. Patches of brown fields peep through the snow and on the swifter streams the ice breaks and lets us see the black, swirling waters below.
Soon the thaws will come and torrents of spring rain and melting snow will rush down the hillsides and brim up in the meadows, and the rivers will run full and turbid with the debris washed in from their banks.
It is at just such times as this, and when the first heavy rains come in the fall, that all sorts of pollution is washed into the streams, and the people who drink the water from such streams are likely to be made ill by it. Typhoid fever, which is usually an autumn disease, breaks out in winter and spring in cities whose water supply is not protected, and a sort of diarrhea caused in the same way used to be so common that it was known as winter cholera.
Protection of public water supplies There is no excuse at all for such things as this to happen since any community can now secure a good drinking water at a reasonable cost.
It was once believed that running water purifies itself, probably because a stream tumbling over the rocks looks bright and sparkling. As a matter of fact, experience has shown that a rapid river is likely to be the most dangerous of all sources of supply, since in such a stream pollution will be carried most quickly from one point to another. When water is stored for a long time in a pond or reservoir, the disease germs die out, but even in lakes sewage may be carried for long distances quite rapidly by the action of the wind.
Filtration through sand, on the other hand, if properly carried out will make even a polluted water safe since the bacteria stick to the sand grains and finally die there.
The safest water supply is therefore one that comes from a good deep well or one that is filtered by means of a municipal water filter. If the well is in the right kind of soil and is properly protected from surface pollution, and if the filter is properly built and operated, not only all the disease germs but also the fine dirt in the water will be strained out and the water will be made clear and pure.
We have also an easy and cheap and effective way of purifying unfiltered river and lake waters by disinfection with chlorine. A very small dose of liquid chlorine or of bleaching powder which contains chlorine will destroy most of the disease germs without harming the water in any way, and at a cost of five cents a year per person.
What kind of water supply has your town? Is it made safe by chlorine treatment? If not, isn't it worth one carfare a year to you to have it safe?