Case of typhoid fever reported at Belfast (August 1955)

A case of typhoid fever had been recorded in Belfast during this week in 1955, reported the News Letter.

The beach at Greenisland. Picture: News Letter archives
The beach at Greenisland. Picture: News Letter archives

It was believed that it could be traced to the consumption of shellfish which had been gathered at Greenisland.

The patient had stated that he had ate cockles which he had collected on the shores of Belfast Lough.

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He was in hospital and one of his children had also been detained, suspected of having the disease.

Dr W G Swann, medical officer, had issued a warning against the gathering of shellfish in Belfast Lough, “or anywhere else where there is a possibility of contamination”.

He said: “Apart from being illegal in the port area, it is highly dangerous. There are quite a lot of people who are doing it.”

Although 352 cases of whooping cough had been reported in Belfast in the nine weeks ended August 6, compared with 82 in the same period in 1954, the disease had not reached the stage of an epidemic, said Dr Swann.

During the previous week 61 cases of whooping cough had been included in the total of 118 notifications of infectious diseases made in the city.

The other notifications included 11 cases of measles, three of rheumatic fever and six of scarlet fever.

In Londonderry the only notifiable illness reported was a case of measles. According to a return furnished by the Tuberculosis Authority 16 cases of tuberculosis – eight in Belfast – had been reported for the province.

During the week, the new claims for sickness benefit in Northern Ireland had numbered 2,400 compared with 2,600 in the previous week and with 2,110 in the corresponding week of 1954.

Dog gave warning of

Carnmoney hayshed fire

A dog barking and scraping at the byre door aroused Mr George Crawford, a farmer of Ballyearl, Carnmoney, at 5am on Sunday, August 12, 1955, reported the News Letter.

Dressing himself hurriedly, Mr Crawford rushed outside to find his hayshed and byres on fire. He released his dog and telephoned the Northern Ireland Fire Authority, whose machines fought the blaze all morning.

The hayshed, byres and 100 tons of hay were destroyed in the blaze.