Mr. Squiers to Mr. Hay.

No. 1137.]

Sir: I have the honor to forward herewith copies of sanitary reports from the American consul at Santiago and the American consular agent at Cardenas, the former referring to an alleged case of yellow fever at Santiago city and the latter to general sanitary conditions at Cardenas.

I am, etc.,

H. G. Squiers.
[Inclosure 1.]

Mr. Holaday to Mr. Squiers.


* * * * * * *

The Cubano Libre of yesterday contained an article stating that a supposed case of yellow fever had originated in Carniceria street, and that the person attacked had been removed to the yellow-fever hospital at Cayo Duan. Immediately upon reading the article referred to I requested Doctor Wilson to make careful inquiry of the sanitary authorities as to the particulars of the case, and also to make an investigation and inspection of the neighborhood where the case was supposed to have originated.

The sanitary condition of the city remains generally bad. Evidences of neglect are visible in the condition of the streets of the outlying districts, and even those of more frequent use in the city. From unconfirmed reports, however, I am led to believe that the streets of the city are models of cleanliness compared with the interior of many of the houses. So far as I have been able to learn no house-to-house inspections have been made for the past six months. * * *

I am, etc.,

R. E. Holaday.
[Page 253]
[Inclosure 2.]

Mr. Webster to Mr. Squiers.

Sir: In compliance with your request, I have the honor to make the following report as to existing sanitary conditions in Cardenas:

I consider them bad, although at present nothing but “ordinary diseases” prevail. Last week there were three cases of scarlet fever, two brought here, it is claimed, and the other originating here; these, by being isolated, have controlled the disease.

Although there is a sanitary inspector here, there is no adequate sanitary service, and the inhabitants dispose of refuse as they see fit. There is no inspection or disinfection of water-closets and cesspools.

There is no sewerage system here. Most of the houses drain into the streets, and the gutters, in parts of the town, are in a deplorable condition, filled with stagnant water and covered with green slime. In various parts of the town, and near the center, there are pools and lakes of stagnant water, thickly covered with green slime, and breeding places for myriads of mosquitoes with which the town is cursed, and of which, I am told, it is never without. At present they are very troublesome.

The only reason I can give for the town being fairly healthy at present is that the streets are broad and are swept by a good healthy sea breeze, but I believe that if once attacked yellow fever would take a strong hold.

A well-known physician here, with whom I talked to-day, agrees with me in the above, and states that these ponds or pools should be filled in, the gutters cleaned, a house-to-house inspection made, and disinfecting system of water-closets and cesspools rigidly enforced. Radical measures should be taken immediately for effectually draining the town.

I am, etc.,

E. B. Webster.