October 21, 1908
Homes of consumptives, and the rooms in which they have lived are to be fumigated by the health and hospital board, if that body is successful in securing the passage of an ordinance by the city council to that effect. At its meeting yesterday afternoon in a new hospital building the board determined to request that physicians be made to report every case of consumption to the board of health before and after death. If the patients die from the disease or are moved to another place the board proposes to see that the home and rooms which were occupied by the consumptives are immediately disinfected. It is urged by the board that the council take prompt action upon the proposed measure.
The board yesterday decided to enforce the rule which makes it necessary for every pupil attending the public schools to undergo vaccination and medical inspection. This rule is to be enforced to the letter and should a child refuse to be vaccinated, or should the parents object to the vaccination, the board has the authority, according to most of its members, to exclude that child from the classroom.
Immediate co-operation of the board of education is sought by the health board and the matter will be presented to the former body at its next meeting. It has been almost taken for granted by the board of health that the measure will meet with hearty approval of the board of education, but whether or not such is the case, the rule will be enforced by the health department of the city which has been given the right by the new charter to use its own judgment in matters of such character.
The matter of vaccination in the schools was put forth by Dr. W. S. Wheeler, who championed it strongly.
"It is an easy, wise and sane method to prevent the spread of much disease," he said. "All well regulated cities have such a preventive system and I have letters form boards of health in Chicago, Boston, Detroit and many others which tell of the expediency of the plan. The only opposition to be met in regard to the matter will be from the Christian Scientists. Their children must be treated as all the rest and they must undergo the vaccination.
"The board will arrange for certain physicians to take charge of schools in groups of four or five, and each will attend to all of the medical examinations in his group. Whenever a child goes to school with a bad cough, sore throat or weak eyes or any other physical ill, the principal of the school will be expected to report the same to the physician in charge. It is a fact that a weak child usually has a weak brain. Once in a long while a child is found whose body is very frail and mind very strong, but that is so seldom. If we make the children well they will make strong men and women of themselves. It looks like a duty of the board to the public and the board has so construed it."