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Source: 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.
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