Page 1, 25th October 1940

25th October 1940
Page 1
Page 1, 25th October 1940 — SHELTER HERDING

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Locations: London


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Keywords: Typhoid Fever, Biology

Will Cause These Diseases

BY DR. HALLIDAY SUTHERLAND Some muddling in the provision of shelters was inevitable, because none of our Mandarins anticipated the way in which London would be bombed. A useful shelter, designed by an engineer whose name is nut Anderson, was distributed to those who had gardens, but was useless for those who live in basements or flats.

On the assumption that air raids would last for a few mininee and that people outof-doors were most exposed to danger, the Government ordered an enormous number of brick shelters, cunsisting of small cells without even benches, to be built in the stieets. I understand that one firm got the contrarl, which is sub-let to local coo1 Fad

Now although scarcely anybody ever uses thewshelters, they are still being built, and [hat is one of the mysteries that would have interested Cecil Chesterton. We are becoming dangerously complacent.

An increasing number of basement shelters under large buildings are also being provided, and that is alt to the good. Yet these shelters are so popular that, unless en adequate number be provided, there is risk of overcrowding and the spread of diseases.

TYPHOID UNLIKELY Already I have seen in children what their gothers describe as " shelter rash," By day the victims suffer little inconvenience, but ut night the irritation becomes intense and they scratch themselves as if they were suffering. as indeed they are, from itch.

This may be cured, not by e something from the chemist,but by a couple of visits to a cleansing centre. In these shelters bunks of canvas on wooden frames are being provided, and the danger is that in summer the bugbear will be bugs.

Sanitary arrangements seem satisfactory (although they could be imp] rived), and epidemics of typhoid are unlikely to arise in these shelters. But overcrowding will favour the spread of pneumonia, diphtheria, and cerebo-spinal fever.

The latter disease is associated with bad ventilation and as I discovered in 1915, the germ, in minute droplets of secretion expelled from throat by coughing, is carried from one person to another by currents of warm saturated air, Mr. Malcolm MacDonald has spoken hopefully about the use of a new drug in

cerebro-spinal fever, Personally, I think prevention is better than cure, and in the. Royal Marine Barracks at Deal I proved that the disease could be prevented by adequate ventilation.

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