100 Years Ago: 39th Battalion Soldiers Tested for Meningitis

The Intelligencer April 8, 1915 (page 2)

“Soldiers Under Bacteriologist Test. …  Surgeon-Captain Amyot, Provincial bacteriologist, Drs. Palmer, Fraser and Hudge, of the Second Division, arrived in the city yesterday for the purpose of conducting an investigation into the outbreak of cerebro-spinal meningitis which has occurred here amongst a few members of the 39th Battalion, resulting in two deaths. After making every arrangement for the test, etc., Dr. Amyot returned to Toronto this morning.

Dr. Palmer, at the Armouries today, made a test of over 100 members of the Battalion for the purpose of detecting any trace of this terrible and fatal disease. To a representative of The Intelligencer Dr. Palmer stated that a thorough test of the men’s throats and noses was made for the purpose of ascertaining if any germs of the disease were being carried by reason of the men coming in contact with those who had died. …  If there are any such cases special treatment will immediately be given by drawing off the fluid from the spine.

Dr. Palmer stated that there was no need whatever of the fear of the disease spreading, as the precautions now being taken were such as to prevent this happening. Every agency known to medical science will be used to stamp out the disease here.”