Covid-19 in 2021 and tuberculosis in 1939

Back in 1939 the advice from Everyone’s Best Friendon how to avoid contracting pulmonary TB eerily reminds us of the Government’s warnings on the dangers of Covid-19 today.tuberculosis sanatorium pic

‘ … the sputum usually contains live tubercle bacilli which may be coughed into the air and inhaled by others. Direct contact with  some other infected person can often be traced when a new case occurs. In a child it is often one of the parents, or some other member of the family who has handed on the disease. Nurses in tuberculosis sanatoria are liable to contract the disease from their patients. In London cases of tuberculosis must be notified, and the tuberculosis officer arranges for their removal from households in which there is known tuberculosis. In France an attempt is being made the raise the resistance of children by inoculations with what is known as the B.C.G vaccine. This vaccine is used to vaccinate the children of tuberculous parents, and other children who are likely to be brought into contact with the disease. The value of this vaccination has not yet been proved as it is still too recent a discovery.

All children from doubtful households, as for instance where one parent has had tuberculosis, should be examined at intervals, and if the tuberculin test which is made to discover susceptibility to the disease is positive, the child should be removed to some place of safety.  

However, we at Jot HQ are a little puzzled at the statement that ‘the prevention and cure’ of TB ‘have been taken well in hand ‘. Continue reading

How to stay free from colds (1936)

Medley flier 001In this season of coughs and colds here is some advice ( published in Medley) from a scientist writing in Health and Strength.

Are colds infectious? No? It has been proved that the whole crowd of microbes and germs commonly associated with red noses, rheumy eyes and sneezes are just as alive and active in a healthy nose as in a runny one, but there is no cold.

So the next time your neighbour in the bus starts atishooing, there’s no real need to turn the other way. You must breathe through your nose. Our nasal organs are so constructed that, although cold bacilli may play on their doorstop all day long, they cannot get into the body.

A cold doesn’t get a look in when out body is fit, and our blood circulating well. It is only when what the doctors call our basal metabolism—the fire of life—gets below par that the germs can get busy.

Four things help us more than anything else to be cold free—warm feet, breathing through the nose, one or two hours spent every day in the open air, whatever the weather, and orange juice.’ Bamford Stanley, D.Sc in Health and Strength.

Don’t take this theory of the common cold too seriously, as the good doctor seems to believe that colds are caused by bacteria ( bacilli). Of course, we now know that they are the result of a virus, as anyone knows who has ever been refused antibiotics for the sniffles. [RR]

Venereal Disease wall poster

An uncle used to talk about films shown in the army to the troops about the perils of Venereal Disease during WW2. They were pretty graphic and designed to discourage soldiers from putting themselves at risk…This wall poster may date from about that time and was probably displayed in a clinic where the dreaded silver and yellow tubes were dispensed. Medicine has moved on. Note the touching faith in soap - with 5 minutes lathering recommended 'from belt to knees.'