REDUCTION OF TYPHOID FEVER IN THE PASSAIC VALLEY.

REDUCTION OF TYPHOID FEVER IN THE PASSAIC VALLEY.

For a considerable period the Passaic valley, in the State of New Jersey, was a nest in which the typhoid germ has incubated with deadly effect—thereby affording a most reliable index as to the unwholesome character and quality of the water supply. With a change in the source of that supply there was an immediate falling off in the death rate in the cities of Paterson, Passaic, and others, which had substituted the Little Falls water for their previous source of supply. Before that was done, from 1896 to 1900 the death rate for Paterson from typhoid fever averaged forty-three per annum for every 100,000 of population. For the year ending Deccember 7, after the change in the water supply had been made, it was reduced to twenty-two, and the following year, to nineteen. So, also, at Passaic: The death rate from the same disease for the year ending December 1, 1900, was forty; for the next twelve months, after the Little Falls water had been substituted, it was only fourteen. During the same period Jersey City Bayonne, Kearny, East Newark, and Harrison had been drinking a mixed water, composed of one-third Little Falls and two-thirds taken from the Pequan nock intake, which now belongs to the city of Newark. The typhoid death rate in each during the year ending December 1, 1900, was as follows: Jersey City, twenty: Bayonne, twelve; Kearny, including Fast Newark and Arlington, fifteen; Harrison, thirty eight. After receiving the Little Falls water only the typhoid death rate per 100,000 of population in these same towns for the year ending December 1, 1901, was as follows: Jersey City, seventeen; Bayonne, nineteen; Kearny, with East Newark and Arlington, twenty-two (an increase of seven in the 100,000) ; Harrison, none, instead of twenty-eight. All the Hudson county towns, taken together, that received their water from Little Falls for the yeai ending December 1, 1000. had a typhoid death rate of sixteen; for the year ending December 1, 1901, of twenty-eight (an increase of twelve per 100,000). All towns receiving their water supply from the same source during the year ending December 1, 1901, had a typhoid death rate of only seventeen per 100.000 of population; while the city of Newark, whose sourct of supply is the Pequannock, during the same period had a typhoid death rate of only twenty-four. The increase in the death rates of the Kearny group and in that of the aggregation of the Hudson county towns generally in the second year after they re cetved their oublic water supply, was undoubtedly due to the interjection of sporadic cases not indigenous to the locality. These occur in greater or less number every fall, after the summer visitors have re turned home, bringing with them in their systems the seeds of the disease which wore sown in their ah sence from home and during their sojourn in localities or in houses (farmhouses, summer boarding houses, and the like), where the water was impure. In any case the averages from small towns for one or two years are more easily affected, and are, therefore. less reliable than in larger cities. Wherefore, if the returns for Jersey City, Newark, and Paterson are taken, for two years (Newark only for one because she has hut just begun to drink the Pepuannock water only), it will be seen how marked is last year’s reduction in the typhoid death rate since the water from the Little Falls source alone formed that on which the people relied for domestic use. Newark’s freedom from the disease will be better judged of after another year has passed over. Meanwhile it is interesting to compare the figures given above—even at their highest—with the 122 deaths from typhoid per 100,000 of population in Charleston, S. C.; 108 in Pittsburgh, Pa.; 101 in Troy, N. Y.; eighty-eight in Knoxville, Tenn.; eighty-six in Allegheny, Pa.; eighty-three in York. Pa.; and correspondingly high rates in other cities, in which the character and quality of the water are notoriously far from being what they should be. Among these, however. New York, with nineteen typhoid deaths per 100,000 is not to be included; nor, indeed, is the metropolis to which tend, and in which sojourn strangers from all countries and from every part of this continent to be truly credited even with that percentage, since many of those stricken with the disease while temporarily staying in New York a number must have contracted it before ever they came within sight of the city—a fact which is too often ignored by the statisticians, who forget that nothing is so fallacious as figures, except, perhaps, socalled facts.

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