Jacob Bembry: Greene Publishing, Inc.
An outbreak of typhus in Greenville was investigated by the State of Florida in Feb. 1928.Major C.N. Hobbs, District Sanitary Engineer with the Florida Board of Health, had been in the west Madison County town, looking into the local epidemic of typhoid fever which had hit the community.
The history of the typhus cases had begun in 1927, when an elderly man, living near Greenville, contracted the disease. After the man’s recovery, his nephew became ill with the fever; and the boy’s mother fell ill, presumably from contact while nursing the boy.
No cases were reported until Jan. 1928 when nine people contracted typhoid fever. All nine had been attending a dinner party at the home of the first victim.
The nine people with the typhus were confined and quarantined. Health authorities, as well as local physicians, endeavored to correct conditions, which brought about the epidemic.
Major Hobbs investigated the water supply around the home where the disease was contracted, but he believed it was caused from a single carrier.
In the meantime, a total of 177 students in Greenville’s public schools were immunized from typhoid fever by the administration of anti-typhoid serum. The shots were administration by the Florida Board of Health.