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Typhoid Fever In Elgin

From The Illinois Medical Journal, September 1916


The epidemic of typhoid fever in Elgin, reported in these pages last month, and which had its origin in the double water supply of the Elgin Watch Company, has numbered about 195 cases of the disease up to this time.

After the source of infection had been pointed out by Dr. A. L. Mann and confirmed by representatives of the State Board of Health, the watch company took active steps to abate the epidemic. The State Board of Health has had a corps of representatives on the ground almost continuously, their efforts being particularly directed to the prevention of secondary cases. Education was carried into every home in which a patient was confined, and up to this time there have been practically no secondary cases except in the homes of two families, in one of which three secondary cases developed and in the other five. Both of these families were Christian Scientists and refused to call a physician or to be guided by medical advice.

Such expensive lessons as Elgin is experiencing occasionally result in the lasting benefit which comes of the establishment of an efficient and competent health department, and the State Board of Health is now cooperating with the Elgin Medical Society in an effort to secure a medical health officer and to obtain the passage of some much needed public health and sanitary ordinances.

Commission form of government is generally regarded as an advanced and progressive form of municipal control; but the tendency of cities under this modern form of government to regard lightly the health needs of the people has been commented upon by the public press throughout the country, and Elgin has been cited as an example.

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