public health history

I haven’t been on here in ages😩 currently having my gcse’s so all I do is study, sleep and eat.
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NYC Health in History: Smallpox Outbreak in 1947

On March 1st, 1947, Eugene Le Bar and his wife visited NYC after a 6-year stay in Mexico City. On March 5th, he was admitted to Bellevue Hospital but because of his rash was soon transferred to Willard Parker Hospital, a communicable disease hospital also in Manhattan. Diagnosed with a drug reaction, he died at the hospital a few days later. After two patients on the same floor as him were diagnosed with smallpox, an autopsy confirmed he died of smallpox. Le Bar’s hospital stay soon led to additional smallpox cases in Willard patients, and cases soon emerged at Bellevue hospital.

On April 4, 1947, these events led NYC Mayor William O'Dwyer to announce plans to vaccinate everybody in the city. Vaccination clinics were set up around the city at hospitals, health department clinics, police and fire stations, and schools. The city also set up 179 additional locations to be used for vaccinations that were open every day. Within days, long lines formed outside the clinics. In less than a month, more than 6,350,000 people were vaccinated against smallpox in NYC. Over 5,000,000 of those vaccinations took place in the first two weeks. By the end of the outbreak, a total of 12 patients were confirmed to have had smallpox.

Thanks the efforts of NYC, U.S. Public Health Service, community organizations, and local health providers, the outbreak was declared ended on April 24, 1947.

Find out more about the outbreak in an article written by then NYC Health Commissioner Israel Weinstein.

Learn more about NYC’s immunization requirements for children in daycare or schools and services offered at our walk-in immunization clinics.

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Tips to #DefeatMalaria from Private Snafu for World Malaria Day

Private Snafu v. Malaria Mike, 1944

Desperate for effective training films for masses of new recruits during World War II, the Army turned to Hollywood and Oscar-winning director Frank Capra. In order keep soldiers’ attention, Capra recruited talented men such as Mel Blanc (voice of Bugs Bunny and Private Snafu), Chuck Jones, and Theodor Geisel to create humorous, sometimes raunchy, cartoons. This team of creative minds partnered with Warner Brothers studios to create the character, Private Snafu

Private Snafu was intended to relate to the non-career soldier. In most of the cartoons, Snafu (an acronym for Situation Normal All Fouled Up) learns a valuable lesson when he disobeys basic army protocol (although his mistake proves fatal here in Malaria Mike).  Snafu tends to be more provocative than a typical cartoon, especially by 1943 standards. Geisel and his team believed that scantily dressed women, mild foul language, and sexual innuendoes would help keep soldier’s attention. Because the Snafu series was only intended for Army personnel, producers could avoid traditional censorship.

via Media Matters » Uncle Sam-I-Am: Dr. Seuss’s Private Snafu

“Mabel Stanley who works in company boarding house for miners, makes up miner’s lunches. The Pocahontas Corporation, 33-34, Bishop, Tazewell County, Virginia.”, 8/7/1946

Lee, Russell, 1903-1986, Photographer. Series: Photographs of the Medical Survey of the Bituminous Coal Industry, 1946 - 1947. Record Group 245: Records of the Solid Fuels Administration for War, 1937 - 1948

In 1946 the Department of Interior and the United Mine Workers agreed to a joint survey of medical, health and housing conditions in coal communities to be conducted by Navy personnel. Under the direction of Rear Admiral Joel T. Boone, survey teams went into mining areas to collect data and photographs on the conditions of these regions, later compiled into a published report. The bulk of the photographs were taken by Russell W. Lee, a professional photographer hired by the Department of Interior for this project.

There are currently 1,300 digitized photos from the project now available in the National Archives Catalog.