Infectious diseases like measles, typhoid and scarlet fever were common in the days of sailing ships. To prevent them spreading in New Zealand, vessels carrying people who had such diseases were put in quarantine. Passengers were confined in quarantine depots until the danger of infection had passed. At a shipboard concert on the Gothic in 1901, the prospect of being put in quarantine on Somes Island (in Wellington Harbour) was the subject of a play.
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