The dangerous plan which we announced in our last number as having been proposed by Health Officer Thompson, for disinfecting this ship, and sanctioned by the Board of Health, has been carried into effect, and is now being proceeded with at official speed. In fairness we are also bound to say that we have not, as yet, seen that any disastrous consequences have followed this rash step, but the infection is not compelled to develop itself immediately, and most likely in packing away infected stores our wooden-headed Board is hatching a little nest-egg of epidemic for some future time. The sapiency which dictated a sanction of the removal of infected stores when the thermometer is dancing between 75 and y0. is, we are ha.ppy to say, in some measure accounted for by the fact that the Board of Health of this city is composed of gentlemen who have not the slightest pretensions to medical or scientific knowledge but are placed in that responsible situation without any regard as to qualification, but as a reward for political services. Indeed we should not be surprised if the persons who have this city's physical welfare in their custody, knew just about as much of science as the student who defined Oxygen as pure gin, and Hydrogen as gin and waier. Surely this state of things must be remedied, anu we think little of that politician who would allow any motives save a desire to secure efficiency, to guide him in the appointment of a Board of Health.
This article was originally published with the title "The Susquehan na and our Health Officers" in Scientific American 13, 43, 341 (July 1858)