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« Pontypridd.







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0 Porth.





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Theatre Royal, Cardiff.



THE HEALTH OF POJITYPHIDD AND DISTRICT. Aq Epidemic paging. At Tuesday's meeting of the Pontypridd Dis- trict Council, Mr James Roberts, J.P., presid- ing, the medical officer, Dr Howard Davies, submitted a report as to the sanitary condition of the district for the quarter ended June 30th. The births registered during that period num- bered 288, of which 148 were boys and 140 girls. The birth-rate was 31.1 per 1000, the rate for the I corresponding period of last year being 31.3. The deaths numbered 127, 62 being male and 65 females. Of the 15 deaths that took place in the Pontypndd Union Workhouse four only were among persons formany resident in the Pontypridd district, the remaining 11 being out- side the Urban District. The death-rate for the quarter was the very favourable one of 12.5 per lOui) per annum. The deaths from zymotic di- seases were 20, and included diphtheria, 2; eroup and whooping cough one each, and measles, 16. There were no deaths from scarlatina, typhoid fever, erysipelas, or diarrhoea. The zymotic death-rate was 2.1 per 1000 per annum. The principal factor in the causation of deaths from this class of diseases was measles, which was in- strumental in taking the lives of 16 children. This disease was very prevalent throughout the quarter, more especially in Cilfynydd. Hopkins- town, and Pwllgwaun. The Graig, Treforest, and Trallwn wards were not exempt, and the Town Ward was the least a.ffecied. Upon his advice in accordance with the Education Code I of 1896 the Cilfynydd schools were closed for a period of three weeks. This step, however, did ) not have any appreciable effect in stemming the progress of the disease m that locality, for subsequently to the closing of the schools and after their re-opening six deaths occurred in June and three more in the present month. Authorities seemed to duter upon the utility or otlwrwise of this procedure as a means of cheek- ing the spread of measles. Whether schools were closed or not it was impossible to prevent I children from infected houses from associating with others. As measles was not a notifiable di- sease under the Act, the number of children affected by the disease could not lie approximate- ly guessed, but they must have been many hun- dreds. He was pleased to be able to state that the force of the epidemic was spent, there being c, scattered cases only at present in the district. During the quarter 42 cases of infectious diseases were reported to him as compared with 80 for the same period of last year. They were scarla- tina, 25; diphtheria, 14; typhoid fever, erysipe- las, and croup, one each. Diphtheria was very prevalent during the three months under notice. During the first three months of the year five J cases had occurred in the district, but this num- ber had increased in the June quarter to 14, of which two terminated fatally. In all cases he had personally inspected the infected premises, some of them being in anything but a clean state. He found it impossible to enforce strict isolation in these cases, not only would other children of the same family persist in visiting the sick room, but adult neighbours thought it a very fitting opportunity to turn in and visit the sick and sympathise with the parents, and often they were accompanied bv their children alsW. Under' .those circuWtstanoes t. was no wonder the disease of so highly infectious a na- ture as diphtheria spread from one person to another and from one locality to the other. In this connection he wished to have the sanction of the Council to have printed in leaflet form definite instructions to householders as to the steps they should adopt whenever an infectious disease broke out in any dwelling. By —is means the officers would be materially assisted in carrying out the duties. Verbal instructions passed unheeded. Also printed notices to head- masters and mistresses acquainting them of the existence of infectious diseases in families at- tending the particular school. In this way a check would be put upon the attendance of children from infected houses. He desired to state that he and the sanitary inspectors had taken every step to check the spread of the disease, and disinfectants had been freely used. He regretted to state that diphtheria had -een reported to him in 23 instances during the pre- sent month. Diphtheria was said to be con- veyed from one person to another by direct contact, as in kissing, or indirectly by means of spoons, drinking vessels, etc., infection from in- dividual to individual being a most important factor in the spread of the disease. The poion might also be convcycd by means of the breath. The aggregation of the large numbers of child- ren in schools and similar institutions was an- other means of the dissemination of the disease. In several epidemics milk had been proved to convey diphtheria. It was possible that cats and birds suffered from diphtheria., and com- municated the disease to human beings, -Je- fects of drainage were considered potent factors in the causation of diphtheria ,and continual men £ ?"fn 'ffie^pres'enT 'epKlemfcTie would attri- bute the insufficient flushing of the sewers as the main cause of the disease ,and personal con- tact and free communication between infected and non-infected persons as the secondary in- fluence in its spread. It was singular in con- nection with this epidemic that there was raging concurrently a very large number of cases of sore throats amongst children and adults. Those cases of sore throats, at this time of the year. he would attribute to sewer emanations. It was stated upon the highest authority that per- sons suffering from sore throats were predis- posed to diphtheria should they in anyway came in contact with the germs of the disease, where- as a person in good, sound health would be able to resist the invasion of the diphtheria germs into the system. During the present summer, as in the previous summers, the sewers throughout the district had become very offensive by reason of the foul gaseous emanations emitted from them. To a certain extent this was only natural according to the law relating to gases. The gases in the sewer were colder than the atmosphere outside them in the summer, and consequently they ascended. In the. winter the reverse held good. He had every reason to believe, however, that the sewers did not receive the amount of flush- ing that it was intended originally they should have. This was owing to the want of water. The sewage system that existed in the Ponty- pridd district was essentially a water-carrying one, and without water was unworkable. Intsead of the sewage matter being removedquickly from our midst it became stagnant almost, and, no doubt, was deposited on the sides of the sewers to the only too apparent knowledge of the olfac- tory organs. These gases also not only found their way through the manholes into the" streets, but, wherever there were no intercepting traps, into w.c.'s, sinks, etc., and became a source of danger to individuals. He maintained, there- fore, tliafS without adequate, regular, andtho- rough flushing, the sewage system was a source of danger to the health of the inhabitants gener- ally. By the foregoing remarks, it would be noticed that the water supply of the district had been very inadequate during the quarter. The numerous instances also of turbid water that had been brought to his notice, and that of the insanitary. i/hspectors testified also that the water supplied to the inhabitants for drinking purposes by the Pontypridd Waterworks Com- pany, did not receive much attention in filtra- tion. All water supplied by the above company for drinking purposes should be thoroughly and efficiently filtere.. prior to distribution through the public service. The County Medical Officer and Dr Davies had visited the proposed site of the Infectious Hospital. It would be of interest to the Coun- cil to learn that Dr Williams was very pleased with the site, and considered it an excellent one. He (Dr Davies) would recommend to the Coun- cil that the Hospital Committee, accompanied by the medical officcr, should pay visits to other infectious hospitals, such as the Cardiff sanato- rium and the Mountain Ash Infectious Hospital, with a view to having plans prepared for the pro- posed hospital at Pwll-Nant-v-Dall. With regard to" the water supply the Chair- man remarked that he did not know whether they could mend matters, as they were entirely dependent upon the Water Company unless their surveyor could make arrangements to assist them. A long discussion followed as to the kind of flushing tanks which should be placed in out offices, Councillor Watkin Williams being of opinion that some restrictions should be made as to the kind of tank used. A large number of those in use at present were useless, as they did not contain sufficient water for flushing purposes. Mr Fred Edwards enquired if it was a fact that the majority of the tanks at Trallwn were out of order. Inspector Johns replied that that was so. He had consulted Mr Grover on the matter, and had been advised that there was notliing in the Act to compel them to keep their tanks in order. On the proposition of Mr Watkin Williams, seconded by Mr Fred Edwards, the Inspector was instructed to report as to the defective tanks ,and serve the owners with notices to put them in proper order. Mr Williams stated that there was a splendid sprintr at the bottom of the Common where a supply of water could be obtained, and Mr Hop- kin Morgan said that a supply of water could be obtained from his bakery in Trallwn, provided the Council wo-ald lay down a pipe. The Surveyor was instructed to prepare a le- port as to all the available sources where water could be obtained.