Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 83.djvu/326

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322
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

PSM V83 D326 Italian immigrant mother with two children.pngItalians the Blind was found to be due to trachoma. In the Kentucky Institute for the Blind, a year ago, 45 per cent, of the blindness followed trachoma.

It is known that trachoma is a common disease of the American Indians, and its ravages are only equalled in seriousness by tuberculosis. In some sections of the southwest, from 65 per cent, to 95 per cent, of the Indians are trachomatous. Over 800 cases of the disease were operated upon and treated at the trachoma hospital of the Indian Service in Phoenix, Arizona, alone, according to the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1911. A recent investigation covering 39,231 Indians in 25 states, one eighth of the total Indian population, showed 8,940 or 22.7 per PSM V83 D326 Young italian immigrant.pngItalian cent, to have trachoma. At this rate there are 72,000 trachomatous Indians in the United States.

In 1911 Surgeon M. H. Foster, of the U. S. Public Health Service, made a survey of conditions of health and sanitation among the natives of Alaska. Of 1,364 Alaskan Indians examined over 7 per cent, suffered from trachoma, and nearly 3 per cent. were blind largely as a result of trachoma. The disease ranked with syphilis and tuberculosis as one of the most destructive to which the natives are subject. Recently Surgeon John McMullen, of the Public Health Service, has conducted a careful investigation as to the prevalence and seriousness of trachoma among the