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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 72 (December 1946)

General,   pp. 17-20 PDF (2.1 MB)


Page 17


Steps Taken by MG to Control
Disease during Winter Months
No major epidemics are expected in the
US Zone during the coming winter, accord-
ing to the Public Health and Welfare
Branch, IA&C Division, OMGUS. Although
the average German will enter the winter
months with a lower resistance to disease
than he had a year ago, medical facilities and
supplies for the control of disease have
increased to such a extent as to partially
offset this danger.
The chief worry of public health officials
throughout the Zone is the possibility of an
epidemic of influenza. According to the
influenza cycle for Germany, an epidemic of
this disease is considered to be possible this
winter. Other factors pointing to the danger
are the crowded living conditions and poor
sanitary facilities of the German people.
The measures necessary for the control of
such an outbreak have already been set up
and are functioning smoothly, officials said.
These measures include influenza "listening
posts," which are laboratories manned by
American-trained German technicians who
keep constant watch for any outbreak of
respiratory  diseases.  Any  increase  in
epidemic influenza, which can be recognized
only through special laboratory tests, im-
mediately would be reported throughout the
Zone and a system of controls put into effect.
In the event of a local outbreak of
epidemic influenza the threatened community
would be isolated and German-produced
influenza vaccine rushed to the spot. An im-
mediate information campaign would be
begun warning the people against the danger
of the disease and giving instructions for
combating it.
Special stocks of US Army hospital sup-
plies have been set aside for emergency use
to supplement German supplies and facilities
in case of an emergency. German supplies of
sulfanimides are considered adequate for
combating the effects of the epidemic
which are sometimes more dangrerol
the disease itself. All German posts for the
detection and reporting of the disease are in
close touch and coordination with US Army
posts of the same type.
The problem of typhus in the Zone has
decreased considerably since a year ago.
Public health officials credit this drop to the
over-all use of DDT insecticide throughout
the Zone with emphasis placed on the treat-
ment of incoming refugees and expellees
from Eastern Europe. However, local or
sporadic outbreaks of the disease are still
considered a possibility and necessary ar-
rangements for combating the disease have
been made throughout the Zone.
Diphtheria continues at a rate lower than
last year and no epidemic is expected
inasmuch as about half of the Zone's children
have been inoculated against it. Precau-
tionary measures to guard against the spread
of any local outbreak have been set up in
close cooperation with Army medical of-
ficials.
Art Transactions
MG Law No 52 with respect to transfer
of works of art or cultural material has been
revised to ease the prohibition against trans-
actions in all cultural materials and "objects
of art of value or importance, regardless of
ownership,"  It vests   authority in the
Ministers President to license art dealers in
the US Zone, with a proviso for report and
inventory of works of art or cultural
material of value or importance.
The revised law permits transactions in
art objects and requires objects valued at
more than RM 10,000 to be reported, thus
legitimizing one of Germany's important
peacetime industries. It facilitates the export
of low-priced paintings and other cultural
objects against dollar returns, helping in this
way to defray the cost of importing food. In
addition, the law is expected to give en-
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