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Visual Culture and Health Posters

Quarantine: Scarlet Fever
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Epidemics of diphtheria and scarlet fever had spread through various parts of New England as early as the mid-eighteenth century. At the time both diseases were referred to as "throat distemper" and weren't distinguished. Known as the deadly scourge of childhood because it was so difficult to treat and control, diphtheria was a highly feared disease in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the United States. In major cities, thousands of cases were reported each year, with large numbers of deaths. Scarlet fever was another deadly childhood bacterial infection characterized by an extremely high fever and unique red rash. Like many other bacterial diseases, scarlet fever and diphtheria were often linked with poverty or unsanitary conditions. As a result, quarantine posters played a role in limiting the spread of these diseases, but they also likely helped perpetuate disease-related stigma by clearly identifying where the disease could be found and emphasizing isolation over education. This poster from early twentieth-century Connecticut announces that "all persons are forbidden to enter or leave these premises without the permission of the Health Officer under penalty of law." The successful control of infectious disease depended on similar quarantine efforts, along with the removal of the stigma and access to treatment and preventive vaccines for the entire population at risk.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (836,259 Bytes)
Date Supplied:
ca. 1910
Connecticut Health Office
Original Repository: History of Medicine Division. Prints and Photographs Collection
This image may also be accessed from the Images from the History of Medicine (IHM).
IHM Order Number: A030889
Connecticut Health Office
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Scarlet Fever
Public Health
Exhibit Category:
Brief History
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Slides (photographs)
Physical Condition:
Metadata Last Modified Date:
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