This Day in History: 1927-02-13
An epidemic of scarlet fever, described as “mild” and “light” hit the community. Fifteen patients in 13 families were affected. The Boards and Health and the School Board sponsored a conference on how to meet the emergency. They sought advice from Dr. Joseph Morrow, the Superintendent of Bergen Pines, Dr. Ralph O. Clock of Leferle Laboratories in Pearl River, and Dr. Frank Laidlaw of the New York State Department of Health in Middletown. They suggested that all pupils be tested with the Dick test. Those without immunity were to receive a series of four weekly injections. All agreed that the school week should be kept open and all pupils urged to attend. Pupils were to be given an extra recess in the afternoon and calisthenics, done with the window open, were to be done in every class after each pair of recitation periods. As a precaution the Mahwah Library forbade the circulation of children’s books and urged all parents to return any that had been checked out previously. Among those reported to have been stricken were Elizabeth Grant, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Grant, and Aleta Hopper and Miss Lea Howell the Third Grade teacher. Attendance was low, however, as scarlet fever was aid to come in three-year cycles and was expected to be heavy that winter. Fortunately there had been no deaths from the disease in the Township yet.