The general health of the University is as good, if not better, than usual at this time of the year. Although there has been much diptheria throughout this section of the country, no case has yet arisen among the students. In order to reduce the possibilities of the disease obtaining a foot-hold here, arrangements have been made for examining all sore throats that are at all suspicious, at the expense of the University.
There have been one or two cases of scarlet fever, but the patients were immediately isolated, so as prevent contagion. Mumps and measles have not yet made their appearance among the student body but the regular time for the latter is approaching. The usual experience is to have from forty to fifty cases of measles from the last of February to to the end of April. The first symptoms are a cold in the head and a sore throat. Students that have these symptoms should be careful, while the nature of their case is uncertain, to keep themselves isolated as much as possible from their friends. Above all, they should be particular about keeping out of card games of all kinds, as playing-cards are the most ready disseminators of germs. The old ideas of contagion, that there was no danger at the beginning, has been done away with and it is now generally acknowledged that the danger is as great then as when the disease is at any advanced stage.
This winter there have been a few cases of grippe and great many cases of tonsilitis with marked grippe symptoms, but they were of short duration. They are generally the result of exposure in cold or wet weather. There have been four or five cases of typhoid fever, which were apparently unconnected with outside cases, but only one was very serious. In the list of non-contagious sicknesses there appear several cases of appendicitis and two of nervous break-down. The latter is due to the tendency of students to cut down their sleeping time from nine to six or seven hours.
There has been only one patient in the Holmes Field "hospital" for contagious diseases. This building is nothing more than a small cottage with two rooms for patients and two for nurses, so that four men, at the most, can be accommodated in it. There is great inconvenience, too, in having the meals brought from outside. The college needs a new, well-equipped infirmary, in which students might be placed and receive all the care and comfort of a well-ordered hospital.
Another thing needed is some supervision over the boarding houses in Cambridge in regard to the quality of food and the manner of keeping it. These eating places are in the hands of irresponsible persons who often take no precautions at all for preventing the spread of germs. Many persons get their milk, which is the greatest germ carrier, without making any inquiry as to where it comes from.