Mon, Feb. 17

VERDE HEREITAGE 1924: JEROME; Scarlet Fever Epidemic


"To the Public: To give as many as possible a current understanding of the present health situation in Jerome it might be well to make a brief statement. There are, at present, a few cases of a mild form of scarlet fever and a similar number of whooping cough, chicken pox and measles cases. These are all under strict supervision of the authorities and are receiving medical and nursing attention."

"For the last 10 days we have had a thorough daily inspection of the children in the public schools. Two nurses are daily inspecting the throats and in addition all school children are under the constant observation of the teachers. Any child showing the least indication of a cold or other irregularity is isolated and the case reported to the doctors. In addition to the work at the schools, the town has instituted a sanitary survey and 2 or 3 cases, heretofore hidden, have been found and brought to the attention of the doctors. Taking everything into consideration, the health authorities feel that it is better, from a health standpoint, to maintain the schools where the children may be given constant trained observation rather than to close the schools and permit the children to mingle without supervision."

"In order that you may know what is being done to meet the situation we have had employed, for some time, an additional health officer and additional town nurse, and a man making the sanitary survey. This last relieves the town nurse and her assistant of that part of their work, enabling them to devote their entire attention to work in the schools. From this you can see that the authorities are endeavoring to do everything possible to prevent further cases of sickness and the co-operation of the public generally is in fact absolutely necessary to make our efforts successful."

"It is particularly important that when a family is quarantined the regulations governing the movements and actions of the family be strictly observed. Every instruction on the part of the health authorities is based upon reason and any infringement is apt to cause a spread of contagion. A few instances have come to our attention where members of the family have disregarded the regulations of the health authorities and disobeyed instructions that were plainly given and understood. No such infraction will be tolerated and where members of a quarantined household are not willing to obey the instructions given them, pressure will be brought to bear. The health authorities are having the co-operation of our police department and the city council has instructed the police officials to arrest and arraign any offenders against the health regulations."

"Only wholehearted support of the entire community will prevent further inconvenience and financial loss before the present situation is corrected." "(Signed) [Dr.] A. C. Carlson, Chairman, Sanitary Committee."


"A stern determination to enforce the health ordinances and to prosecute to the very limit all offenders against the same was voiced by the city council at its meeting on Tuesday evening. All members were present and Mayor Robert K. Porter was in the chair. The city physician and the special health officer, Matt Shea, were instructed to take every action necessary for the maintenance of proper sanitary conditions and the police and fire department heads were instructed to co-operate to the very extent of their ability."

"As a first line of defense, a special resolution was passed whereby, until further notice, all children of school age are forbidden to frequent theaters or other places of public gathering."

"The health department was instructed to prosecute with every possible vigor all persons failing to comply with the city regulations and especially those who fail to notify the authorities of the existence of contagious disease or who permit the breaking of quarantine when the same is once established."

"It was ordered that an immediate survey of sanitation conditions be made in cases where 2 or more families are occupying the same building, it being reported that in several such cases the sanitary accommodations are altogether inadequate. There are but a few of such cases and these will receive immediate attention."

"CLOSE INSPECTION: Special Sanitary Officer Matt Shea reported that he is making visits twice a day to all quarantined houses to see that the regulations are being complied with. The city nurses were also instructed to exercise more than usual diligence so that, if possible, it will not be necessary to close the schools."

"One specially flagrant case was reported --- that of a boy who was 'peeling' from scarlet fever and who was allowed to be on the main street in that condition. It was pointed out that a single case like this was sufficient to undo all the good work that has been done to date and the officers were instructed that every possible vigilance must be exercised and, if necessary, a few drastic examples made."

"UNDER TOWN'S CONTROL: At the request of the county health officer, Dr. J. W. Flinn, of Prescott, the city authorities have taken over the entire handling of the situation in Jerome and its immediate vicinity, including the parts of the school district that lie outside the corporate limits of the town."

"OTHER BUSINESS: The attention of the United Verde Extension management was called to the condition of the sewer above the gulch school and the trouble there is being corrected. It appears that the sewer serving the southern side of the Extension Hogback was never properly completed and that the result has been that sewage was discharged on the hillside with no provision made for its disposition. Mayor Robert K. Poster said this morning that the officials of the company have shown a fine spirit in the matter and that as soon as the facts were called to their attention they ordered the necessary measures taken to relieve what is admittedly a bad situation."

"An effort is being made to better the fire system by putting in expansion joints at several places on the mains and be arranging the tanks so that any one can be cut out for necessary repairs."

(Verde Copper News; Jerome; Friday, March 14, 1924; page 1.)


"Jerome, March 22. --- Though the scarlet fever epidemic is subsiding, the city authorities and Dr. J. M. Walsh, Health officer, are exercising every care to insure that the ground which has been gained shall not be lost. They have ordered that Sunday schools remain closed until further notice and no pupil with the slightest symptoms of disease be allowed to attend public schools. It is hoped that, with due diligence on the part of the district nurse, the parents, and the local physician, it will not be necessary to close the schools."

"'I've been gaining,' Dr. Walsh declared, 'very few new cases are now being reported. The quarantine regulations, the general clean-up of the town, and the storm have all had their good effects.'"

(Prescott Evening Courier; Saturday, March 22, 1924; page 6.)

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