London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Greenwich 1896

Annual report for the year ending 25th March, 1897

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It is difficult to state the cause of so large an increase. The
subject is receiving marked attention from all those who are
engaged in Public Health work.

The following table will show the number of notifications of Diphtheria that have been received by me since 1890, and also the number of deaths that have occurred from that disease during each year since:—

Notified cases of Diphtheria.Deaths from Diphtheria.
1890 531890 26
1891 481891 21
1892 431892 9
1893 1701893 51
1894 1391894 38
1895 2151895 41
1896 4001896 59
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In both England and London the mortality from Diphtheria
was less in the decade 1871.80 than in 1861.70, but in the
decade 1881.90 it was greater than in the second, and in London
had increased to a higher ratio even than in the first decade.
Comparing London to England in the first decade, the ratio
of mortality was about 5 per cent. lower than that of England,
in the second decade about equal, and in the third about
6 per cent. higher.
It is strange that whilst formerly it was more prevalent in the
rural districts, it now appears to affect the urban most.

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