[HISTORY. Derived from Art. II of Ch. XXV of the Charter and Ordinances, 1974, of the City of Buffalo. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following diseases are referred to in this chapter as being infectious diseases:
Contagious diseases (very readily communicable): measles, rubella (rotheln), scarlet fever, smallpox, varicella (chicken pox), typhus fever, relapsing fever, bubonic plague, acute anterior poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis), influenza (epidemic influenza, Spanish influenza) and pneumonia, all forms, including bronchopneumonia.
Communicable diseases: diphteria (croup in all forms), typhoid fever, Asiatic cholera, anthrax, glanders, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, leprosy, tuberculosis (of any organ), infectious eye diseases (trachoma, suppurative conjunctivitis, ophthalmia neonatorum), puerperal septicemia, erysipelas, whooping cough, syphillis and gonorrhea.
Indirectly communicable diseases (through the intermediate host): yellow fever and malarial fever.
Whenever a communicable disease is prevalent or exists in any school, factory, hotel, lodging house, tenement house or in any other place and the Health Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe that any person who has been in attendance at or employed in any such place has contracted said disease from or been exposed to a convalescent carrier or a contract carrier of said disease or if there is a reasonable probability that said disease may have been so contracted, the Health Commissioner is hereby authorized to take all necessary means to ascertain and identify, so far as possible, what person or persons, if any, is such a carrier.
The Health Commissioner is hereby authorized to quarantine or remove to an appropriate hospital any person suffering from a communicable disease or who has been exposed to such disease or who is a convalescent carrier or a contact carrier of said disease whenever, in his judgment, such action is necessary for the preservation of the public health, and it shall be the duty of every such person to comply with the regulations and orders of the Health Commissioner in reference to such quarantine or removal to a hospital.
For the purpose of carrying the intent of this section into effect, the Health Commissioner is hereby authorized to take one (1) or more cultures from the nose or throat, or both, of any or every person in any manner connected with any school, factory, hotel, lodging house, tenement house or other place where such communicable disease exists or is prevalent or from any other person with whom, at any time within sixty (60) days prior to his developing said disease, the person afflicted has been associated or in contact or from any other person who, at any time during the sixty (60) days next preceding, has been exposed to or come in contact with a convalescent carrier or a contact carrier of said disease.
It shall be the duty of every person from whose nose or throat, or both, the Health Commissioner is authorized to take a culture or cultures for the purposes aforesaid to permit the taking of such culture or cultures and to cooperate with him for the purpose of ascertaining whether such person is or is not a carrier of said disease.
Unless otherwise mutually agreed upon, all such cultures for examination by the health authorities shall be taken by the Health Commissioner or his representative, who shall be a person duly licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the State of New York.
Any person who is herein required to permit a culture or cultures to be taken from the nose or throat, or both, who shall refuse to allow the taking of the same is guilty of a violation of this section and, in addition to the fine or penalty therefor, may be prohibited by the Health Commissioner from frequenting any school, factory, hotel, lodging house, tenement house or public place during such time as, in his judgment, the preservation of the public health requires. Such prohibition shall be made by the service of a written notice to that effect upon the person so refusing to allow such culture or cultures to be taken. Any person who shall violate any order, rule or regulation of the Health Commissioner contained in any such notice is guilty of a violation of this section.
Any person, firm or corporation having charge or general supervision of any school, factory, hotel, lodging house, tenement house or public place, who or which shall knowingly permit the attendance at any school, hotel, lodging house, tenement house or public place of any person contrary to the provisions of any such notice so served by the Health Commissioner shall be guilty of a violation of this section.
No person suffering from any of the diseases named in § 158-1 (except tuberculosis, malarial fever, syphilis and gonorrhea) and no person in charge of such patient (except in cases of tuberculosis, malarial fever, typhoid fever, syphilis and gonorrhea) shall attend any public, private or Sunday school or any public place or enter any public conveyance without first notifying the owner, driver or person in charge thereof, who shall thereafter provide for the disinfection of such conveyance before permitting its use again, but no owner, driver or person in charge of any public conveyance of any kind shall permit any person suffering from any disease mentioned in § 158-1A or B of this chapter (excepting tuberculosis, infectious eye diseases or puerperal septicemia, typhoid fever, syphilis and gonorrhea) to enter or ride in such public conveyance.
It shall be the duty of every physician, upon discovery of any case of infectious disease mentioned in § 158-1 of this chapter, to report the same forthwith to the office of the Health Department, except cases of syphilis and gonorrhea, which shall be reported only when, in the opinion of the attending physician, the case is a source of danger to the general public.
Any person in attendance upon or in charge of any patient suffering from any of the diseases mentioned in § 158-1 of this chapter, in case the service of a regularly qualified physician is not employed, shall forthwith report to the office of the Department of Health the existence of such disease and the name and address of the patient or person suffering from such disease. The provisions of this section include any person residing in the same house with such patient or sick person.
Any proprietor, manager or person in charge of a hotel, boardinghouse or lodging house, upon the discovery of any of the diseases mentioned in § 158-1 of this chapter, and any person knowing of or having reason to suspect the existence of a case of such infectious disease which has been concealed or not reported, shall forthwith report the same to the office of the Health Department.
Any officer or person in charge of any prison, asylum, hospital or public or private institution of any kind shall report forthwith to the office of the Health Department any and every case of infectious disease mentioned in § 158-1 of this chapter which shall arrive or be discovered and shall once a week report all such cases and, upon death or recovery, shall report the date and the details of the disposition of the case according to the rules and regulations of the Health Department.
It shall be the duty of the superintendent of any hospital or of the person in charge of any hospital to immediately report, by telephone, to the Department of Health any and all cases of infectious or contagious diseases, designated in § 158-1 of this chapter, that have been conveyed or carried in any public conveyance other than an ambulance, giving the name of the driver or person in charge and that of the owner of such vehicle, and to enter upon the books and records of such hospital the names of such driver or person in charge and owner.
It shall be the duty of the Health Commissioner, whenever a case of poliomyelitis shall come to his attention in any manner, forthwith to cause the removal to a suitable hospital of the person whose illness is diagnosed as poliomyelitis.
No person sick with any infectious disease (except typhoid fever, malarial fever, tuberculosis, syphilis and gonorrhea) shall be removed from one building to another without a permit from the Health Commissioner. In each case of tuberculosis, the premises from which the sick person was removed shall be forthwith disinfected before being reoccupied. Notification thereof shall be made to the office of the Health Department either by the physician in attendance, if any, or by a member of the immediate household.
No person who shall be sick or infected with smallpox, varioloid or any of the infectious diseases mentioned in § 158-1 of this chapter, except syphillis and gonorrhea, shall depart from or be removed from the house or building in which he or she has become sick or infected (except for the purpose of being removed to a hospital for the treatment of said disease) without the permission of the Health Commissioner.
No person shall depart from nor remove, cause to be removed or assist in removing any person so sick or infected from any house or building contrary to the provisions of this section.
If any building or part of a building, upon inspection by an officer or representative of the Health Department, shall be deemed by the Health Commissioner unfit for human habitation by reason of infection or the existence of other cause tending to endanger health, such building or part of a building shall be vacated within such time as may be fixed by the Health Commissioner. In every case of smallpox, the patient shall be removed to the quarantine hospital, except when such removal would place the life of the patient in jeopardy, in which case the Health Commissioner may grant a permit for the patient to remain at home upon compliance with such precautions as may be prescribed by said Health Commissioner.
No person, other than the attending physician, shall enter or depart from a house in which is a person suffering from any of the diseases mentioned in § 158-1 of this chapter without permission from the Health Commissioner, except in cases of tuberculosis, typhoid fever, infectious eye diseases, puerperal septicemia or malarial fever, syphilis and gonorrhea, and until such house has been disinfected according to the rules of the Health Department.
No person shall attend a funeral of any person dying from smallpox, typhus fever, diphtheria (croup in all forms), scarlet fever, yellow fever, Asiatic cholera, bubonic plague, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, acute anterior poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis), influenza (epidemic influenza or Spanish influenza), pneumonia, all forms, including bronchopneumonia, other than the absolutely necessary attendants and the immediate family of such deceased. In case of death from any of said diseases, the undertaker shall cause the body to be buried within twenty-four (24) hours after death and shall proceed direct from the place where the patient died to the burial ground.
All dead bodies brought into the City in which the cause of death is given as any of the diseases mentioned in § 158-1A of this chapter may be taken to an undertaking establishment where the coffin may be opened for the purpose of identifying the dead body. The coffin must thereafter be immediately closed and not again reopened. The undertaker shall cause such body to be buried within twenty-four (24) hours after its arrival in Buffalo and shall proceed direct from such undertaking establishment to the burial ground.
No person shall sell, lend or give away or dispose of in any manner, except destruction by fire, any clothing, bedding, rags or other articles exposed to infection or liable to carry the same, articles properly protected and in transit for disinfection or destruction excepted.
No person shall bring or aid in bringing into the City of Buffalo any person suffering from any of the infectious diseases mentioned in § 158-1 of this chapter, except syphilis and gonorrhea.
No person shall make or procure or cause to be made any clothing or wearing apparel of any kind in any house or building wherein any person is sick with smallpox, varioloid or other infectious disease, except for the personal use of the inmates of said house or building; and no person shall sell or expose for sale any clothing or wearing apparel which shall have been made in any house or building in which there shall have been at the time when said clothing was made any person sick or infected with any such disease.
No person shall visit or enter any house wherein is any person sick with small pox or varioloid, except the persons who, at the time said patient was taken sick, were residents of said house, the nurse or nurses employed in the care of such patient and such regularly attending physicians as may be called; nor shall any person who is in constant attendance upon such sick person leave or depart from said house during the time when such sick person remains therein, and not thereafter until the wearing apparel which he or she has worn while in attendance upon such sick person shall have been replaced by clothing which has not been worn in such sickroom, and then only upon a written permit from the Health Commissioner. It shall be the duty of the Health Department to put up and maintain in a conspicuous place at the front entrance of any building, and also at any other entrance thereof, in which there shall be any person sick or infected with smallpox, varioloid, scarlet fever or diphtheria (or croup in any form) a card or sign on which shall be written or printed in English and German, Italian or Polish the words designating the infectious disease with which such sick person is affected and to keep the same so posted during all the time when such sick or infected person shall remain in said building. In any cases mentioned in this section, it shall be unlawful to remove or cause to be removed any such placard or notification of warning so placed by the Health Department; and in cases of diphtheria, such placard shall not be removed until bacteriological examinations shall have shown that no further danger from contagion exists; and no person shall, without the permission of the Health Commissioner, remove any such sign or placard so placed on any building. In case any such sign shall have been removed, either by accident or design, it shall be the duty of the person or persons occupying said building to notify the Department of Health thereof forthwith.
It shall be the duty of every medical school examiner to visit all schools within his district when required to do so by the Health Commissioner and examine the pupils in attendance upon said schools for the purpose of determining whether or not such pupils should be vaccinated and to report to the Health Department the number of said pupils who have not been vaccinated and who require to be vaccinated; and it shall be his duty to vaccinate said pupils whenever the Health Commissioner shall so direct.
It shall be the duty of the medical school examiners to visit all the schools in the City of Buffalo systematically for the purpose of making such examinations and inspections as may be required by the rules and regulations prescribed by the Health Commissioner for this purpose; and they shall perform any work assigned to them at any time by said Health Commissioner. The school nurses likewise shall perform such duties as may be assigned to them by the Health Commissioner.
No person shall let, lease or hire any room, house or any part of a house in which there has been any infectious disease until after said room, house or part of a house shall have been disinfected under regulations approved by the Health Commissioner. It shall be the duty of every person letting, leasing or hiring any house or building or part thereof to make to the person negotiating for the same a true statement concerning instances of infectious diseases therein within the previous three (3) months.
It shall be the duty of all persons within the City of Buffalo who have not been vaccinated within five (5) years previous to submit to vaccination if required; and the parents and guardians of such minor children as have not been vaccinated shall cause such children to submit to vaccination when, in the interest of public health, it may be deemed necessary by the Health Commissioner. It shall be the duty of the Health Commissioner to vaccinate, free of charge, any and all persons within said City who shall request him to do so.
The Health Commissioner is authorized and empowered to cause to be vaccinated forthwith every inmate of a household in which a case of smallpox occurs.
He is also authorized and empowered to cause to be vaccinated forthwith every person who he had reasonable grounds to believe has been in contact with or exposed to a person having smallpox or the excretions or secretions of such a person or a carrier of smallpox.
Any person subject to vaccination as above mentioned who shall refuse to be vaccinated forthwith shall be quarantined immediately as hereinafter provided; and any of said persons liable to vaccination who for any reason is not vaccinated within three (3) days after contact with or exposure to smallpox or a carrier thereof must be quarantined.
The Health Commissioner is further authorized and empowered to cause a person whom he has reasonable grounds to believe is a carrier of said disease to be quarantined and observed as hereinafter provided, irrespective of the vaccination of said carrier.
A person quarantined shall be isolated for a period of at least twenty (20) days and until discharged by the Health Commissioner, under such reasonable conditions as the Health Commissioner shall prescribe and in accordance with law, and it shall be the duty of the Health Commissioner or his duly authorized representative to make daily observations of each person so quarantined.
If any person so quarantined is, in the opinion of the Health Commissioner, unable to obtain necessary food at his own expense, it shall be the duty of the Health Commissioner to immediately report said fact to the County Department of Social Welfare, which shall immediately investigate the circumstances in connection therewith and make such provision for said person as the facts warrant.
No parent or person having care or charge of a child or person with whom a child resides who is or has been suffering from infectious or contagious disease or who resides in a house where such disease exists or has existed within a period of six (6) months shall knowingly or negligently permit such child to attend school without procuring and producing to the teacher or person in charge of such school a certificate from some registered medical practitioner, approved of by the Health Commissioner, that such child has become free from disease and infection and that the house and everything therein exposed to infection have been disinfected to the satisfaction of the Health Commissioner. No teacher or person in charge of any school shall knowingly permit any child to attend such school in contravention of the provisions of this chapter.
It shall be the duty of the Health Commissioner to have printed in English, German, Polish and Italian circulars and other literature pertaining to all the infectious diseases specified in § 158-1 of this chapter and to cause said circulars and literature to be distributed for the information of the public. In the case of tuberculosis, he shall have printed, in addition, suitable signs or placards explaining the danger of indiscriminate expectoration.
Whenever the Health Commissioner and the Mayor shall deem it necessary and expedient, on account of the spread of any infectious or contagious disease, to proceed under the authority hereby conferred upon them, the Mayor may take such steps, adopt such measures and issue such orders and proclamations as may be recommended, in writing, by the Health Commissioner and may, in pursuance of such recommendation, order and direct by proclamation the closing of all theaters and other similar places of public entertainment and all gatherings or assemblies of persons for any purpose and may issue such directions as may be deemed necessary to stay or prevent the spread of such infection. After the publication of such proclamation, it shall be the duty of the Health Commissioner to advise the Mayor of the time when the danger and emergency shall have been passed, whereupon the Mayor shall, by further proclamation, cancel and revoke the orders and directions contained in the proclamation published for the purpose of staying such epidemic. Such proclamation shall be published once in the official paper of the City and at least two (2) other daily newspapers published therein.