PAYORK-L ArchivesArchiver > PAYORK > 2004-11 > 1100211463
Subject: Re: 1873 York County Health Conditions
Date: 11 Nov 2004 15:17:43 -0700
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Children dying 10-14 days apart sounds like an outbreak of measles. The incubation period is about 10-14 days, so when one child gets it, the other children come down with it about 2 weeks later. It would be similar for other communicable diseases, but with differing incubation periods. There were no immunizations then. Childhood diseases would kill those who were not of a strong constitution.
Many very young children died of croup. These days we take the child into the bathroom and turn on the shower to steam the room up, which ususally helps relieve the child enough to breath. How good we have it!
Many also died of contaminated water. They didn't know about bacteria, and there were no antibiotics. Life was a lot more precarious, and it would not be unusual to have half of the children in a family die at a young age.
My family from Codorus township had 8 children. The first one and the last two survived. The other five died as children or teenagers. Some of them are buried at the Stone Church.