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To Prevent the Spread of Infection

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TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF INFECTION.

The following rules should be adopted in infectious disease to prevent infection spread ing:— 1. Place the patient in a room by himself, from which carpets, curtains, and hangings of every description, including pictures, &c., have been removed. All furniture, except a wooden table and chair, should also be removed. The room should be well ventilated. This is best done by keeping a fire always burning in the grate. The floor should be kept clean, being done in small portions at a time, not all at once. The door should be kept closed, and a sheet should hang outside it, and be sprinkled daily with the Coudy's fluid or carbolic acid solution.

2. Let none come near the room except the nurse and medical attendant. The nurse should wear some dress that will wash. She should keep her hands clean by washing, as noted above. When she must attend to other house hold duties, she should take off her dress before leaving the room and put on another kept hanging outside for the purpose. She should mix as little as possible with other members of the household.

3. All cups, plates, and utensils used by the patient should be passed through a solution of chloride of lime (2 ounces to the gallon of water) immediately on being taken from bhp, and afterwards washed in boiling water.

4. All towels, handkerchiefs, clothes, &c., used in the room should be steeped in the weak chloride of lime or carbolic acid solution.

5. All the patient's discharges, spit, vomit, discharges from bowels, &c, should be treated as noted on p. 516. Remains of food and drink should be similarly treated and thrown out.

6. The patient should be kept clean, as directed on p. 516.

7. On recovery, and before mixing with other members of the household, the patient should be bathed and clothed in a completely fresh set of clothing, which clothing must not have been kept in the sick-room.

8. After the removal of the patient, the room and all articles of clothing left in it should be disinfected, as directed on p. 516.

9. The house should be kept clean and well ventilated during the sickness, the water-closets being specially attended to.

10. Should the patient have died, it is desir able to disinfect the body by wrapping it in sheets wet with carbolic acid solution (1 ounce of acid to 20 of water), or chloride of lime solu tion (1 ounce to 40 of water); and sawdust soaked in either of these solutions may be placed in the coffin.

If these rules seem troublesome to follow out, it shmild be remembered that the duty to the healthy is not less than to the sick ; and where they are neglected, and infection spreads, the moral guilt resting on those who have been neglectful is great.

Duration of Quarantine, Duration of Iso lation, and Time for Disinfection in Infectious Diseases.

If a child has come into contact with an in fectious disease, it should not return to school till it is certain that it has not caught the infec tion, for then it would become an active agent in the spread of the disease. The child must, therefore, be kept from mixing with other children at school or at play till sufficient time has elapsed, since it was exposed to infection, to permit the disease to develop, if it is going to do so. This time varies with the disease, being determined by the incubation period of the disease. This time is called the period of quarantine, and should be two days longer than the incubation period of the disease. But it must be noted that before one begins to count the time, one must secure that the child is removed from the source of infection, and that its clothes are disinfected. Thus, suppose. two brothers, of whom one develops scarlet fever, and the two have been sleeping together till it became known that one had scarlet fever. One cannot begin to count the quarantine time of the other brother till he has been removed from the infected house and has been dis infected. After that one waits ten days, and if he shows no signs of illness, and has remained away from the infected house, he may return to school. If, while quarantine period is running, a child again comes in contact with infection, it must be removed, again disinfected, and quarantine must begin over again.