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2!! Ballina Chronicle; Aug 1, 1849 "Cholera"

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    Aug 23, 2003
      Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
      Wednesday, August 1, 1849

      We are happy to find that the indication of a visitation from Cholera,
      manifested at the close of the last and during the early part of this week, have
      not realized the fears that were entertained. We trust that this partial
      threatening may be the extent to which our locality may suffer; and we are
      satisfied that there is not the least ground for apprehension or alarm as to the
      spread of disease. Under these circumstances we doubt not that all fears will
      cause, and we think it becomes the immediate duty of every individual to inspire
      confidence in the weak-minded. Fear we know to be a predisposing cause to all
      diseases, and especially to such as are of a choleric tendency; so that if we
      would avert the approach of the epidemic, reason and common sense suggest that
      we assumed a perfectly fearless tone of mind and that confidence which facts and
      circumstances warrant us alone in holding.
      Prevention is the true way of combating the illness and we have just
      received a warning loud enough to start us into a state of preparation. We
      should take advantage of the suggestions which experience has found useful, and,
      under Providence, by each individual making an effort to be guided by them, and
      using a little self-denial, our neighbourhood may be preserved in that healthy
      state for which it has always been distinguished. If the laws of nature were not
      too frequently outraged in our persons and dwellings, the atmosphere provided by
      the health-breathing ocean, whose purity is for thousands of miles first broken
      by our shore, would afford a true specific against disease.
      The Board of Health have given much valuable information regarding cholera,
      from which we quote.-
      They assert the cholera is not contagious, and, unlike fever, is not
      re-producing or propagated from one individual to another; so that friends or
      relatives need not fear attending the sick in their houses. The first symptom of
      the disease is mere diarrhoea, which may be for a few hours, or one or several
      days, and if without pain, the more necessary for immediate care. While in this
      stage the disease is nearly always curable, and hence the importance of losing
      not a moment in obtaining medical advice. Damp and low situations are to be
      avoided, and should not be dwelt in; houses and rooms kept dry; windows and
      doors open, and full ventilation, with supplies of fresh air admitted into rooms
      during night and day; avoid chills and wet clothes; eat plain wholesome food in
      a solid form, and abstain from fruit, raw and ill-cooked vegetables, pastry,
      salted meat and fish, pork, pickles, and everything of a purgative nature, and,
      as of the utmost importance, from stimulants. Unless perfect temperance in food
      and drink, and the strictest cleanliness is preserved, and fatigues and excesses
      avoided, there can be no security against disease.
      We cannot omit advertising to the apathy and want of energy regarding
      sanatory improvement which has been exhibited by the inhabitants of Ballina
      during the past months, when disease was hovering over them, and when much good
      might have been accomplished.- The Vice-Guardians, we have reason to know, were
      most anxious to put the Nuisances Removal Act in force, and effected
      considerable good by the steps they adopted; but there was no co-operation. In
      scarcely one case did they receive, from persons voluntarily, the preliminary
      notice of nuisances upon which the law requires that proceedings alone are
      taken. If every filthy spot were blotted out, and proper attention given to
      drainage, ventilation and cleanliness, and every dirty habit eradicated, we
      should have little cholera or other diseases of a similar kind among us. We
      should not have the masses of widows and orphans, who in the dark and filthy
      lanes of our towns, have lost the stout arm that earned their bread, now
      swelling the relief list and imposing heavy burden on the tax payers. We should
      not have our hospitals crowded, neither would we suffer from the moral
      degradation that fills our jails, and cases a gloom over our land. Let
      intelligent persons who desire to promote the welfare of their kind, and are
      possessed of public spirit, try to inculcate sound sanatory principles among the
      poor - visit their homes, and by advice as well as by bringing the law to bear
      upon them eradicate filth and foulness. Let the landlord in his capacity forget
      a narrow-minded policy, and a little expense to him in improving the dwelling of
      his tenants may be saved in poor rates and in the cost and danger of excesses
      and outrages. Where there is dirt there is inevitably vice, intemperance, and
      depravity. The Vice-Guardians are prepared to exercise the powers afforded them
      under the "Nuisance Act" in full force whenever they can do so by the
      manifestation of a corresponding spirit on the part of the people.
      We are glad to find that the Vice-Guardians have been able to avail
      themselves of the professional services of Doctors Whittaker, Devlin and M'Nair,
      who had much experience in the treatment of cholera during its visitation in
      1832, and with the most successful results. We understand ample hospital
      accommodation exists- medicine and advice are at all hours to be obtained of the
      Dispensary; and if unfortunately there should be an outbreak of the disease, the
      means at disposal will be fully sufficient for the occasion, and if in each case
      immediate application is made for the medical relief on the appearances of the
      first premonitory symptom, we have strong hopes that the bills of mortality will
      hereafter present an aspect little more than blank.
      The cases of the disease that have occurred up to the present time we learn
      are not numerous, and have been confined to the workhouse and fever hospitals,
      and amongst patients there who were worn down by dysentery and other diseases.
      We have not heard of any new cases for the 24 hours preceding the time of our
      going to press.

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News