Reflections: Communicable disease, 87 years ago


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist



The current Covid Virus the world is battling, as I’ve noted before, although more serious than those in the past, is one of many that the world has encountered. For instance, reading a November 15, 1934 edition of the Morrow County Independent, I found a column titled “Sees Spread of Diphtheria.”

The article describes the spread of this disease as reported by Dr. R. L. Pierce, Morrow County Health Director.

There were 251 cases in Morrow County as of November 1, 1934; but 137 in the previous week’s report. The story noted there were 54 districts in Ohio reporting new cases besides Morrow. Surprisingly, there were 923 cases of Scarlet Fever in 11 districts, an increase of 275 cases in just two weeks.

Quoting the doctor: “With the ever moving traffic and rapid auto service it is only a matter of a few hours until contact can be made and new cases started.”

Referencing Diphtheria immunization, the doctor said “ Over 1,900 applications for the Toxoid treatment are now on file. These requests represent every section of the county, although the reports from the rural schools have not been returned and other reports were announced only partial so it looks like that will run over 2,000.”

The story states that “some of the physicians in the county have the Toxoid and have been giving the treatment in their families — this is encouraged where such arrangements can be made.”

The doctor continued “Progress is being made whereby the school clinical immunization will be conducted. When such time comes, each school and every patron will be notified in plenty of time so that no one need miss the opportunity and remember that pre-school children are especially fortunate who are immunized.”

I share this because today. Diphtheria cases are rare thanks to immunization. Of course, this is our wish and goal for the current virus — under control and zero cases.

Looking back

September, 1941: Mrs. Wallace Taylor and her two oldest daughters of Leicestershire, England, spent a couple of days in Cardington visiting her cousin, Mrs. Ann Eliza Beatty; Candidates for Cardington Township officers in the coming November election were E. L. James and V. L. Meredith, trustees; Frank Aliga and Howard Conaway, justice of the peace and Harry Mathews, township constable.

September 1951: Thirty Cardington merchants donated prizes for the HPM Employees picnic held in Mount Gilead; Cardington village council purchased a used road grader for $300 from the Gledhill Road Machinery Co. in Galion; The Cardington Church of the Nazarene celebrated its 25th anniversary; Jeweler George Frew celebrated his 50th year in business in Cardington.

September, 1981: Deborah Knauber of Cardington, was named as resident advisor of Stambaugh Hall at Ohio Northern University. Dean Curl, executor of the estate of his mother, Marjorie Curl, announced that the Curl Funeral Home was being discontinued. For the first time in a century, the name of Curl would not be associated with a funeral service in Cardington.

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By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist