Flooding and Typhoid

1965 Drug Store Ad encouraging Typhoid Shots

Hamm and Pool Drug Store Ad depicts what is important after a flood: typhoid shots, bug control, and Big Flood stories.

One aspect of flooding that has come up in the research and interviews which I had not thought about was the prevention of typhoid fever.  Typhoid is a human disease which is spread by ingesting water contaminated by human waste.  This happens during flooding when sewer lines fill and back up and waste water treatment facilities are flooded.  Whenever there was a flood in Kinsley, everyone was encouraged to have a typhoid shot. During her interview, Mary Kallaus told a cute story of how she went to the courthouse to see about getting a shot.  She discretely went up to the doctor and asked if she should get one as she was in the early months of pregnancy.  He replied that of course she should and “go get in the line over there for children and pregnant women.” After that, everyone in town knew she was pregnant.