The subject of vaccination.
--A public meeting was held at Atlanta, Ga.
, recently, at which Dr. W. H. Cummings
, an experienced physician, delivered an address on vaccination.
As the subject is an important one just now, we extract some of his remarks, in addition to other publications recently made in this paper on the same subject:
He called attention to the fact that while vaccination is almost universal in Europe
, and children must be vaccinated before they can enter school, not one in four of our population have adopted this precaution against infection.
This negligence, he remarked, results from our scattered and sparse population, which has rendered us comparatively secure against the spread of any infections disease.
He gave a learned and interesting review of the early practice of inoculation, first practiced in China
2400 years ago and introduced into Europe
by Lady Mary Motley Montague
about 1720, and the subsequent discovery of kine pox by Lt. Edward Jenner
, and the introduction therefrom of vaccination instead of the more dangerous practices of inoculation.
had observed that furing the prevalence of small-pox, milk maids never contracted the disease, and after careful investigation of the cause of their immunity, he found that they were inoculated from the udders of the cow with a disease precisely like vaccination.
He also was convinced that the cows took the disease from the feet of the horse through the hands of the grooms, who, from cleaning their hoofs would sometimes milk the cows.
From this singular discovery arose the practice of vaccination with the kine pox, which is as effectual a preventive of small pox as the disease itself.
Like measles, or other infections diseases, occasional instances of second infection occur, but they are very rare, and seldom fatal.
True vaccination, the Doctor
urged, is never fatal.
The improper use of old and poisonous or putrid virus causes bad arms and occasional deaths, and hence arises the general dread of vaccination.
To avoid such results required an intelligent use of the simple agencies employed, and for this reason vaccination should be confined to careful hands.
He described the process of vaccination, and made it very simple and easily comprehended.
Nature seems to have adopted the kine pox exactly, and beautifully, to man's convenience, for we find that it develops itself in fourteen distinct ‘"cells,"’ from each of which lymph may be obtained without disturbing the other.
This should be done on the eighth day, as is delayed the vaccine fluid hardens and becomes less effective.--The effect of vaccination is usually not perceptible for two or three days, when inflammation appears, then secular blister forms, accompanied with irritation and slight fever, until after ten or twelve days, when a scab forms, and on the twentieth day the scab falls, and inflammation disappears.
It does not usually interfere with ordinary duties or cause the loss of a single meal.
He urged the importance of an organized system of vaccination.
for every county, and that it be completed during the cool weather.