PURE WATER VS. TYPHOID FEVER.
The average city of 100,000 inhabitants wastes, perhaps, $500,000 a year on the luxury of having typhoid, and probably $100,000 more in efforts to avoid it. That amount of money properly spent would practically eradicate the disease. We have seen it done in the principal European cities; yet with the unprogressiveness in matters of public health which so strangely contrasts with the forwarding American spirit, out cities have continued to poison themselves and one another. I once heard a distinguished sanitarian say: “Give me a few million dollars and the power to enforce the law’s, and I’ll make any city in the world tyohoicl-proof.”
Pure water and the equipment to keep it pure was his scheme. It is so simple, so saving of grief, pain, and even of cash, that one wonders whv civilization continues to permit a disease that ought to he as nearly obsolete as its distant cousin, typhus.
All typhoid is traceable to polluted water. If, for a year, the world were to stop drinking dilute sewerage, typhoid fever would vanish from our vital statistics. Nine-tenths of all infection comes direct from had water; the other tenth would disappear, if the principal cause were eliminated. Infected cities—and nearly all of our ease in one of two ways. They drink water polluted either by themselves or by others. Lake communities drink their own offscourings. Residents of river principalities welcome to their warm and hospitable interiors the germs which come downstream to them from diseased cities of rural districts directly’ infected, above, and having poisoned themselves therewith, pass them on to the waiting settlements farther along the current.—Samuel Hopkins Adams, in McClure’s.