FILTH DISEASE. A term that may be ap plied to any disease caused or supporte4 by ac cumulation of filth. The term, although useful, is not strictly scientific. It has been applied to typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery, and diarrhoea, as well as to erysipelas, pyremia, septicannia, and puerperal fever. These were called 'filth diseases,' on the supposition that they were caused by putrefying excrement. garbage and refuse, leakage and seepage from cesspools, privy vaults, and sewers, through which wells and springs, as well as the atmosphere, may become polluted and cause disease. Since the discovery that the causative principle in each of these dis eases is a specific bacillus, the term 'filth dis eases' has fallen into partial disuse. It is known that bacteria do not pass through the air ae componying the vapor arising from a fluid, and that, in general, gases and vapors cannot convey infection, bacteria being carried by spray or dust.
Vet it is true that allowing filth, particularly human excrement, to accumulate so that it may gain access to drinking-water. or may attract insects which will carry it about, is to invite emit aminat ion and infection by the bacteria that may exist in such filth. Thus, flies may carry beeal matter about and transfer it. lo food. Typhoid fever is spread through the inedi inn of water nr milk or other food which has been contaminated by the excrement of patients suffering with the disease. Want of personal cleanliness may encourage disease, and an ac cumulation of refuse affords a nidus for the multiplication of pathogenic germs. It is there fore clear that preventing the accumulation of filth must in a large measure serve to prevent also filth diseases. Sce INSECTS, PROPAGATION OF DISEASES BY; TYPHOID FEVER.