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INOTIFICATION OF INFECTIOUS…

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I NOTIFICATION OF INFECTIOUS I DISEASES. I Charges Against Cardiff Nurses. At the Cardiff Borough Police-court on Tues- day—the Stipendiary Magistrate (Mr T. W. Lewis, Dr. Paine, Mr Spencer, and Mr R. Bird on the bench—two cases were heard having refer- ence to the measures taken by the corporation for preventing the spread of* contagious diseases. In the first case Miss Annie Elliott, a nurse at the Nursing Institution, Stanbrool: House, Cathedral-road, Cardiff, was summoned for conveying an infectious case in a public vehicle without giving dne notice to the driver while in the second case Mrs Emily Boddington the lady superintendent of the institution, was charged with refusing to give up to the sanitary authorities certain infected clothing. Mr F. C. Lloyd, deputy town clerk, ap- peared for the prosecution. He said the summons against Miss Elliott was taken under the 126th section of the Public Health Act, charging her with exposing a child suffering from a dangerous infectiousdisease in a public con- veyance without notice to the driver. The section in question provided that "any person who while suffering from any dangerous or infectious disease, wilfully exposes himself without proper precau- tions against the spreading of the said disease in any street, public place, house, shop, or convey- ance, or enters any public conveyance without previously notifying to the owner or driver that he is so suffering or being in charge of such person shall expose such sufferer." The defendant was alleged to have been in oharge hf the parson suffering. The infectious disease in question was diphtheria, which Was one of a number of infectious diseases oheduled in the Act. It was of a somewhat dangerous charaocer, the proportion of deaths of persons attacked being even as great as 30 per cent. The most important preventative measures art: isolation and disinfec- tion. In this case the person attacked was a child who, while in a highly infectious condition, was removed in a public con- veyance without the slightest intonation that she was infectious. The caouian when he was hired was told that he was required to fetch a gentleman, whereas it was a child who was re- moved. Tiie cab had not been disinfected for a week after by reason of no notice having been given to the driver. The child was not taken to an isolation hospital, but to a nursing home, where persona were received suffering from all diseases. The defendant was not an ignorant person — she was a trained nursp, and tiierefore fhould understand the danger to which she was exposing persons who were subsequently using the cab. Wm. Henry Matthews, of Ryder-street, said he was the father of the child Beatrice Matthews, who was four years of age. On the 17th April, while suffering from diphtheria, she was conveyed from Green-street to Staubrook House, Cathedral- road, in a cab by the defendant. He did not tell the defendant that the child was suffering from diphtheria, but from the general tone of the con- versation he led her to believe that the case was one of an infectious character. The Stipendiary Did anyone tell Miss Eiliott the case was one o! diphtheria t Witness I have no doubt in my own mind that abe knew it was an infectious case. Samuel Davies, a foreman driver to Mr T. H. Webb, cab proprietor, Cathedral-road, deposed to driving the child in charge of the defendant from Queen-street to the Cathedral. No intimation whatever was conveyed to him that the ohild was suffering from a contagious disease. Mr Edward Walford, medical officer of health for the borough of Cardiff, stated that diphtheria was a dangerous infectious disease. The Stipendjary If any person suffering from diphtheria were driven in a cab is the next person Using tho cab liable to become infected ? Dr. Watford Yes I think so. Mr Edward S. Smith, surgeon, practising in Cardiff, deposed to attending the child Beatrice Matthews, who was suffering from diphtheria. The Stipendiary (to defendant): The case has been clearly proved against you. I take it you do not deny the facts of the case 1 Defendant: I did not know it was against the law. Had it been scarlet fever I should have given notice, but being diphtheria I did not think it was necessary to mention tt. A fine of £5 and costs was inflicted, or in de- fault defendant was ordered to prison for one month with hard labour. A similar summons had been issued against Mrs Emily Boddington, the lady superintendent of Sfcanbrook House Nursing Institution, but on the application of Mr Lluyd this was withdrawn, and she was proceeded »g»inst for refusing to give up the clothing of the sick child to the sanitary authorities. In answer to the bench, Mra Boddington admitted the charge, but said the articles were disinfected in the hou*e, where they had every possible convenience for doing 80. Mr Lloyd said this was a charge which he must press. It was taken ont under the Infectious Diseases Prevention Act, 1890, which had been adopted by the Cardiff Urban Sanitary Autority. By section 6 it was enacted that any !cc*l authority, or the medical officer of health tOt" such authority, might, by giving notice iu writing, require the owner of any bedding, clothing, or other articles which had been exposed to an infec- tion or any infectious disease to causti the same to be delivered over to the officer of the authority for removal for-the purpose of disinfection and any person who failed to comply with the require- ment should be liable to a penalty not exceeding £10. George Thomas, inspector of nuisances to the Cardiff Urban Sanitary Authority, stated that, acting under instructions from the medical officer of health, he proceeded to the Nursing Institu- tion, Cathedral-road, on the 13th Ap. ii, and a»ked for the clothing of the child, Beatrice Matthews. Defendant refused to give the articles up. She said ehe would not allow anything to bo taken out of the house, urging that they were quite capable of disinfecting their own things. The facts of the case were not denied, defen- dant being fined £5 and costs.

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