The habit of allowing their meat to putrefy before regarding it as fit for food, and of encouraging children of tender age to drink to intoxication, accounts for absence of old folk and the heavy mortality which are to be observed among the Muruts of British North Borneo and some of the other more debased tribes of the interior of the island.
The scheme did ill; and in 1796 the government put an end to it, owing to the great mortality and the embarrassments of maintenance.
As a consequence of these insanitary conditions the death-rate is very high, and in case of epidemics the mortality is enormous.
Its population had never been large: it was about 490 in 1609, and 183 in 1623; the mortality was always very heavy.
He estimates the population to have been 180,000 persons, which Dr Creighton affirms to be nearly three times the number that we obtain by a moderate calculation from the bills of mortality in 1532 and 1 535.
In addition to the actual mortality it inflicted, the plague caused an exodus of the population from the island, disorganized the labour at the docks and in the mills, and swallowed up large sums which were spent by the municipality on plague operations and sanitary improvements.
Small-pox was the cause of a greater mortality than yellow fever even before the means of combating the latter had been ascertained.
The increased mortality seems to be due to the general tendency toward forced speed in development work, which is secured by rapid drilling, and by an increase in the number of machine drills used in a single working-place.
In some mines dust seems to have but little effect on the health of the miners; indeed it is even claimed by some that coal dust decreases the mortality from phthisis.
Besides coloured troops, there were employed in this campaign about 2400 Europeans, who suffered severely from fever and otherwise, though the mortality among the men was slight.