Thursday, November 3, 2011

1879 Diphtheria

Diphtheria swept through the village in 1879, taking young and old. George W. Palmerton, merchant, died suddenly and left his wife, Joanna, and son, Frank, to carry on the business he had started.

Short obituaries such as, A twelve-year old daughter of Chas. Well died of diphtheria on Sunday evening last. The funeral took place on Tuesday from the M.E. church.

School would be closed sometimes for a week at a time so new cases would not develop, and many houses were quarantined from anyone leaving or entering the premises.

As curiosity set in, I wondered if this disease was still a problem in today's world. I headed to wikipedia and found the following article -- click here. It would appear there are still one or two cases each year but nothing like the late 1800s when it could ravage whole families.

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