An Act to Prevent the Spread of Disease and to Establish a Pathological and Bacteriological Laboratory for Such Purposes at Delaware College.

WHEREAS, The great advance in medical science has reached a point of exactitude heretofore unknown, more especially as to the cause and prevention of disease, and has attained the ability of demonstrating to a certainty the bacteriological origin of many of our most prevalent and fatal diseases; and

WHEREAS, By microscopic and biological investigation the presence of these diseases can be made manifest when symptomatology fails, thus enabling the Boards of Health to make timely provision against the spread of the disease and by so doing save the health and life of many citizens; and

WHEREAS, These investigations can only be safely made in a laboratory fully and properly equipped for the purpose, and managed by skilled manipulators of special knowledge and experience in the sciences of pathology and bacteriology; and

WHEREAS, Delaware College possesses excellent facilities in the way of suitable rooms and adequate equipment of libraries and apparatus, and besides offers at no cost the supervision of a trained bacteriologist as a guarantee of the character of the work; and

WHEREAS, a similar line of work as regards domestic animals is carried on at the College under the provisions of the Hatch bill, none of which provisions could be used for the purposes contemplated in this Act; therefore

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

SECTION 1. That in addition to the duties and powers with which the Board of Health of the State of Delaware is now invested by the Constitution and Laws of this State, it shall further be, and hereby is authorized and empowered to establish and supervise a Pathological and Bacteriological Laboratory at Delaware College, and to supplement the equipment already there, with any additional appliances necessary to make it perfectly safe and reliable for the thorough use of any or all of these means of protecting the citizens of the State against the spread of Disease.

SECTION 2. That the said Laboratory shall be and with the advice and consent of the Board of Trustees of Delaware College be located in buildings now belonging to said College, and said Board of Trustees shall furnish such accommodation of rooms, apparatus and skilled supervision as may be required for said Laboratory.

SECTION 3. That the Pathologist and Bacteriologist elected as hereinafter provided shall conduct the routine work of said Laboratory under the direction and supervision of the Bacteriologist of Delaware College and shall make all examinations and analyses, etc., that may be necessary, under the direction of the Board of Health of the State for all the purposes that may be required to fully execute the intents of this Act.

SECTION 4. That all physicians, dentists, veterinary surgeons, or others practicing medicine or surgery or any branch thereof under the laws of this State shall be required to give prompt notice to the local or State Board of Health of any and all cases of contagious or infectious disease that may come under their professional notice, and shall have free access to the work of the Laboratory for the determination of the diagnosis of any doubtful or suspicious case, by forwarding (prepaid) a sufficient sample of urine, blood, sputum or other substance of such case, to the said Pathologist and Bacteriologist at Newark for examination, who shall examine the substance so sent, and report to the Physician, Dentist or others aforesaid sending the same, the result of said examination without any unnecessary delay and without further charge; the said Physician, Dentist or others aforesaid shall report the result immediately as herein above required; provided, however, that nothing in this Act shall be so construed as to prevent the Board of Health of the State from making full provision for the free use of the laboratory for the examination of any matter or substance so as to determine the diagnosis of diseases neither contagious nor infectious, and either local or constitutional and for the examination of water or food supply for any citizen of the State.

SECTION 5. That the regular annual meeting of the Board of Health of the State shall be held at Newark on the first Thursday of April of each and every year, beginning with April, 1899, at which meeting the Pathologist and Bacteriologist shall be elected annually by the action of the said Board of Health.

SECTION 6. That the sum of $1,000 annually as salary to the Pathologist and Bacteriologist shall be appropriated, and the sum of $300 annually for expenses of the department, and the same is hereby appropriated out of any funds in the hands of the State Treasurer not otherwise appropriated. And for the annual expenses of the same thereafter. The said appropriations hereby made to be drawn by orders on the State Treasurer, signed by the President and Secretary of the State Board of Health, the accounts to be audited by the Auditor of Accounts of the State annually as now required for other accounts of the State Board of Health.

SECTION 7. This Act shall be deemed and taken to be a public Act, and shall go into effect immediately on its passage.

Approved March 23, A.D. 1899.