The following poem, written by Dr. R.S. Bailey, Health Officer, Vance County, was on the cover of the April, 1921, issue of The Health Bulletin, published by the North Carolina State Board of Health. Flies carried typhoid, primarily from open surface privies. Residents were being encouraged to have sanitary pit privies and to screen their windows.
By Dr. R.S. Bailey, Health Officer, Vance County
Just let some one mentioned a bedbug or louse
To folks who are clean or refined,
They will shudder with horror and clean up the house,
‘Till never a bug can you find.
Yet the esthetic creates who feel so disgraced
When such vermin are found in the home,
Will slap at a house-fly in languid distaste,
Or let it contentedly roam.
Yet bedbugs and lice carry little disease,
Only two that we actually know;
Relapsing, the typhus, both on the decrease,
Excepting in "Poverty Row."
Of all the disgusting, the nasty insects,
Whose presence should rouse our fears,
The fly is the filthiest thing that infects,
Bringing death to this valley of tears.
Then train up the children at home and at school
That the fly is the greatest of foes;
That to fail to destroy them is acting the fool,
Whose folly will fill up his woes.