Nine Cases of Scarlet Fever in Tumut Shire During Last Four Weeks
27 February 1945 The Tumut and Adelong Times
Mr. J. Lockeridge, Tumut Health Officer, reported to Wednesday's Shire meeting that a total of nine cases of scarlet fever had been reported in the Shire during the last four weeds.
His report on the matter was as follows:- Since last meeting eight cases of scarlet fever have been notified from various parts of the Shire.
Three of the above cases were reported from the Batlow district, three from the Adelong area and the remaining two from Tumut.
In each instance the patients have been isolated at the District Hospital, contacts have been excluded from school and the necessary steps taken to check the spread of the disease.
It would appear that we are now experiencing a sample of the scarlet fever epidemic that is now making its presence felt over certain parts of the State just now.
Epidemics, in times such as these when so many are moving from place to place and travelling conditions are so congested, are far more difficult to control.
An outbreak of scarlet fever at any time is often hard to check, as frequently there arc mild cases where, if the ac- companying rash is not so pronounced, medical advice is not obtained and consequently the case is never notified, with the result that the patient or infected person carries the complaint to others, who may take it in a more severe form.
Scarlet fever does not necessarily come from unclean conditions, but is an air borne disease that can also be carried by flies and milk and is often more prevalent during dry, unseasonable conditions.
One of the first symptoms of this disease is a dry, sore throat, so that when there are a number of cases about people would be well advised to regard even a common cold with suspicion and consult their medical adviser should the children complain of throat troubles.
Although scarlet fever is often looked on as a simple complaint of childhood, it is really a serious disease owing to the fact it hat it is liable to be followed by many complications that may weaken the patient for life.
Care in a proper institution by skilled doctors and nurses will prevent this latter possibility.
I may point out that the outbreak, as far as this Shire is concerned, gives no cause for alarm as yet, and it is hoped that there will be no big increase in the number of cases from now on.
Arrangements have been now finalised for the commencement of the campaign at Brungle and the necessary scrum has been secured.
The first injection in this scheme will be given on Tuesday next at Brungle.
Since fast meeting I have contacted the school master at Brungle with the object of finding out whether there would be any children from the village, other than those from the mission station, who wished to receive treatment.
I am informed that there are some who wish to be immunized and I have obtained the Health Department's consent for such children to be treated by the two injection method being used for this scheme (usually the Department requires the three-injection method to be used in any scheme backed by them).
I would suggest that an advertisement be placed in the local Press advising residents of the Brungle district of the proposed campaign and inviting them to bring their children along on Tuesday next.
Since starting this report further cases of notifiable infectious diseases have been received - one case of scarlet fever from Red Hill Forest, a case of laryngeal diphtheria from Tumut and a case of pulmonary tuberculosis from Tumut.
Unfortunately, the diphtheria patient had been immunized about twelve months ago. Although the patient in such cases may not get such a severe attack, the worst feature is that it is, in the eyes of most people, a bad 'Ad.' for immunization.
Appropriate action will be taken in each case.