Sources: Papers On Health

Few things have so great and distressing effect as the fear

of infection in disease. As a rule this fear is not justified by the

facts, where ordinary precautions are taken. These precautions, too,

need not be costly, and involve in many cases little more than some

careful work. Where scarlet fever has shown itself in any household,

the very first thing is to see to the continuous freshening of the air

in the sick-room and in all the house. Ventilation is, indeed, the

first and most important method of disinfection. Chloride of lime and

other disinfecting fluids will decompose the offensive and noxious

odours, but pure air will sweep the organisms of disease themselves

away. Fresh air kills the microbes of certain diseases, e.g.,

consumption, and is hostile to all disease. The stools of typhoid

patients should be disinfected, and great care taken that no water or

other fluid is contaminated by them through imperfect sanitation, etc.

(see Fever, Typhoid). Seeing that the seeds of disease are all around

us, the best method of warding off their attacks is to keep the body in

a state to resist their inroads by strict attention to diet, exercise

and ventilation. Let all be done also, by fires if necessary, to

thoroughly dry the room and house. See that all the family breathe

fresh air by night as well as by day; have open windows where and when


Acetic acid is as powerful a disinfectant as carbolic acid, in

proportion to its strength, and has the advantage of being harmless,

unless in the glacial form.

In all cases of infectious disease these precautions are almost certain

to prevent its spread, with, in addition, the special ones given under

the head of the disease.