Stricken Village

Authors

  • Marion Curtis R.N.

    1. Department of Nursing, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Vermont, Rowell 216, 106 Carrigan Drive, Burlington, VT 05468
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Sarah E. Abrams, Ph.D., R.N., C.N.S.-B.C., Editor, Public Health Nursing, Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Vermont, Rowell 216, 106 Carrigan Drive, Burlington, VT 05468. E-mail: Sarah.Abrams@uvm.edu

Abstract

ABSTRACT An historical reprint, this account of a public health nurse's work with village residents during an outbreak of pneumonia related to tuberculosis was originally published in Public Health Nursing in December 1948. The author, Marion Curtis, was a public health nurse in the Territorial Health Department of Alaska called upon to respond to the rapid death of several victims of an unknown disease affecting a small outpost on Kodiak Island in the Territory of Alaska. Her narrative tells us about the settlement village and what happened from the time of the wire for help to the time she left the community for home. Her original spelling of names has been retained. Curtis's response to the emergency was quick and demonstrated experience. Her application of infection control principles helped quickly control the outbreak. At the end of her story, Curtis reflected on the impact of disease on communities and civilizations, predicting that villages like the one she had described might vanish within 20 years due to tuberculosis. Readers may reflect whether Curtis's view presents an etic or an emic perspective. Old Harbor, however, remains a small but vital community on Kodiak Island's southwestern shore.

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