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Quarantine--Doctor Mercer Makes Defense
April 29,1904
Milestones Vol 15 No 1 Spring 1990

Regarding the complaints that have been made about Dr- Mercer, of Beaver Falls, who has charge of a number of smallpox patients, concerning his habit of mixing with the people on the streets without changing clothes, the doctor has this to say in his own defense. "Now in regard to my treating smallpox patients, if the public and others connected with it was half as careful and exact as I am, I do not think there would be a case in the valley. When I enter a smallpox room I never touch them - as other M.D.'s do - in any way or form. I do not touch or handle any of the bed clothes or anything in the room, do no even allow my clothing to come in contact with anything, if possible, in the room; do not even take a chair to sit down in room. I frequently go in another room to prepare my medicine. Do not generally remain in patient's room over five minutes to see how patient is progressing, give nurse directions as to what to do, encourage patient and leave. After coming out I use a disinfectant which I always carry with me in my pocket. I always walk around in the open air awhile before entering any other house. I am trying to protect myself from taking this disease, and by so doing I am protecting the public. Why complain? I think that I understand my business and will proceed accordingly, and will protect the public also."