The Idaho Weekly Statesman

Saturday Sept. 11, 1875



Sickness At Silver City

The people of Silver City and vicinity are alarmed at the sickness and frequent deaths which occur in their midst. In proportion to the population the deaths are alarming and especially among children. A public meeting was held on the evening of the 8th inst. to adopt sanitary measures for the health of the city, but the Avalanche in giving an account of the meeting says there was a slim attendance and no physicians were present. Those who discussed the cause, at this meeting, of the prevailing diseases ascribed them to the filth and uncleanliness of the city and pointed out the infected parts of the city and urged the removal of filth and the adoption of stringent sanitary measures, but on account of the small attendance, the meeting adjourned until the next evening. The policy of holding such meetings and discussing the causes of sickness and removing the danger is certainly creditable. But it is not creditable to the doctors to absent themselves from such a meeting. They are or should be the first to study and learn the cause of disease and warn the people of the danger what ever it may be. The sickness among the grown people is generally claimed to be typhoid fever, and with the children scarlet fever. It would seem that the physicians ought to master these diseases and keep them from assuming a malignant form. We have had a good many cases here and our physicians have been successful in breaking up the fevers and we do not recollect of a single death this summer from either of these fevers when physicians have been seasonably called, but the physicians in Silver do not appear to be so fortunate. In fact they must be considered, from so many deaths, very unfortunate. It is possible that these fevers take a far more malignant form in Silver City. While sanitary measures are highly commendable it is probable that other causes lie back of the filth and uncleanliness of the little town of Silver City. The town certainly has a favorable location. No place could be selected where there would be less danger from filth. Besides these cool frosty nights and a fine atmosphere such as they have in Silver City is almost a certain antidote for rubbish and waste matter thrown out in small quantities on dry ground. Frosty nights, chilling gusts of wind and frequent changes in the atmosphere during the day have a decided effect upon the human system, and unless properly guarded against will produce the diseases so prevalent in Silver City and vicinity. The necessity of warm clothing and especially woolen underclothes, and fires in dwellings and shops so that every room is comfortably warm, is considered of the first importance in a changeable atmosphere, and especially in cholera times, or when there seems to be some prevailing sickness or epidemic. Half the children in the country are not well clad, that is they are prettily clothed but their clothes are not made for comfort or health. Boise City people are not an exception in this respect. Half the sickness in the country arises from some grave imprudence of some character. The airy climate and pure atmosphere of Idaho is remarkably healthy. Census statistics show that Idaho in proportion to population is the most healthy place in the United States. Therefore the present sickness in Silver City must be set down to some local cause which the physicians and others cannot study too thoroughly.


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