The following are the inferences deducible from the observed facts of this outbreak by Dr. Ballard, who has made a report on the subject
That the fever in Nunney was enteric.
That it was brought into the village from a distant place by an individual whose evacuations, and those also of others attacked in the same and in the adjoining house, found their way into the Nunney brook at the upper part of the village.
That the fever spread in the village in consequence of the villagers habitually drinking the water of the brook thus contaminated, which water was still further polluted with the sewage of the village itself, containing, if not the actual excrement of the sick, yet certainly matters washed out of their soiled linen, and also more or less of their liquid evacuations .
That at the time of my visit, actual excrement from cases of enteric fever was finding its way into the brook at a hamlet only half a mile above the village of Nunney.
The explanation above given of the origin and spread of fever in Nunney is confirmed by the sudden reduction in the number of fresh cases of the fever on the expiration of the week ending October 5. The causes of pollution of the water of the brook pointed out in the course of this report were still operating, but on and after September 24, water from an unpolluted source was brought in carts into the village daily for the use of the inhabitants. It could scarcely have been expected that the brook-water should at once have fallen entirely into disuse, that none of it should have been used by anyone in the village. Such changes are never to be effected suddenly. The result observed was just such and such only as I looked for. From eight to thirteen fresh cases had been coming under observation weekly for a period of five weeks ; but in the week following the twelfth day from the introduction of unpolluted water, the weekly number of fresh cases fell to five, and in the next week to one.
Medical Times and Gazette, Jan. 4, 1873, p. 19.