Medical News

1912 Journal of the American Medical Association  
the most important event of the present period tbe acquisition, beginning about 1870, by civilized man of the knowledge and control of preventable diseases. The extermination of plagues and epidemics will naturally be pressed most vigorously in tropical countries where the danger has been the greatest. It behooves us in temperate zones and civilized communities to bestir ourselves, lest those nations which we regard as backward outstrip us in the race for better health. That nation xvhicb lirst
more » ... learns to utilize all the knoxvledge of modern science for the prevention of disease will rapidly improve, physically, commercially and financially, and xvill take a long step toward the front rank among nations. INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE AND THE INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS The problem of the prevention of injury and disease among industrial workers is receiving more and more at lent ion. The International Congress on Hygiene and Demography, to meet in Washington in September, will devote considerable time to the discussion of industrial and occupational hygiene. Among the subjects on which papers are to be rend are the physiology and pathology of fatigue; the deleterious ell'eet of unnecessary noise on workers; caisson disease; accidents and diseases occurring in electric generating works; occupational anthrax; safety devices for the prevention of neeideiils; Ihe ell'ects of temperature and humidity on fatigue; dust and its effects. Other important topics to he discussed by eminent men are sex and age problems in industrial hygiene; Ihe employment of women and its relation to infant mortality; child labor, etc. These topics will be further elucidated in the exhibit to be held in connection with f he congress. The attention given these .questions by this important congress will no doubt give impetus to their further effective consideration by government authorities and will result in distinct unprovemeni in the status of I hese économie conditions. • PLAIN SPEAKING ON SANITARY MATTERS As the education of the public progresses in sanitary matters, Ihe tendency fo criticize officials responsible for conditions thai are nol as they should ho becomes more pronounced. This is a hopeful sign, and means, inevitably, improved conditions. As examples of plain speaking on I hese mallei's, two instances may be cited. The headline over an article in a daily paper published in a large western city reads: "One More Baby's Life Forfeited to the Came of Politics." The article contains an account of an epidemic of scarlet fever which was I raced to a certain dairy. It specifically attributes the death of a 6-year-old child to the milk from this dairy, and goes on to say: "The milk inspection department, during the time that a milker at the farm was developing scarlet fever, was playing politics. The inspectors were out soliciting votes among such of the dairymen as lived within thc city limits, and had a vote May 21. On their shoulders is laid thc blame for the infection spread through the city." The other instance also concerns the milk-supply, this time in a large eastern city. The chief inspector of creameries of the state board of health made an inspection of creameries and dairies in the city and found only three out of the twenty-seven that were up to the standard. He stated to the local board of health that he had no doubt that the impure milk was the cause of the death of many infants, and that if the board did not take immediate action the state board would step in and force the local board to do its duty. With all the agitation and legislation concerning milk it is scarcely possible that milkproducers and. distributors do not know the rôle of impure .milk in the production of disease and death in infants. A conscience so defective as to permit such conditions to exist in the face of that knoxvledge requires drastic criticism and vigorous action to penetrate it and get it in a normal working condition. Fearless speaking by the newspapers and the public will surely improve the health situation. HEALTH CONFERENCE IN MICHIGAN A recent issue of Public Health-the bulletin of the Michigan State Department of Health contains a report on the health officers' conference held at Ann Arbor. January 30-31. This annual conference of the local and state health officers has come to be an established custom in Michigan. Water-analysis, the need of a state hoppital for advanced cases of tuberculosis, waterpurification, certified milk, garbage-disposal, hotel-sanitation and occupational diseases were discussed before fhe conference. While it is important from a scientific standpoint, perhaps the greatest practical value of such a conference is that it brings together', and makes mutually acquainted all of the men in the state who are working directly on public health problems. Perhaps the most serious flaw in our public health work so far has been the lack of close cooperation and mutual understanding between the different detachments of thc armV that is carrying on this light. Lack of organization and cooperation means duplication of work with waste of money and effort. Michigan and Kansas are striving to unite the health-workers of fluslides into a compact and effective body which will render more effective warfare against disease than can the isolated town and county health officers found in too many of our states.
doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270070203017 fatcat:zcf4fch3qnbfpfe33325psvvse