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

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Islington 1896

Forty-first annual report on the health and sanitary condition of the Parish of St. Mary, Islington

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The enormous Dumber of 43,317 separate articles were disinfected
by the Vestry during the year. In past years when complaint had
been made by the Vestry respecting "return cases" of Scarlet Fever,
the Metropolitan Asylums Board met the charge by saying that it was
not that the patients had been discharged too early but that the work
of disinfection had been improperly carried out. In the face of the
above record of work done by two of the most modern appliances, it
will be no longer possible for such an excuse to be made by a body who
have always been quite ready to shift the burden of their neglect on to
other shoulders. At present there is hardly any place, certainly not in
London, in which all the work appertaining to disinfection is so
thoroughly carried out as in Islington.
In addition to the work of the Parish, the machines also disinfected
all the articles that had been exposed to infection in Stoke Newington.
The report of the Medical Officer of London for 1895, shows that
twenty-four sanitary authorities have provided themselves with
disinfecting apparatus, in which disinfection is effected by steam, and
that six authorities possess apparatus in which disinfection is effected
by dry heat, while eight authorities arrange with a contractor.
Destruction of Infected Articles.—The crematory connected with
the disinfecting station has been frequently used to destroy infected
articles, such as bedding, which were in too foul or too dilapidated a
condition to be returned to their owners.
The crematory was also found to be very useful in destroying the
unsound food which had been seized by the Inspectors. It performed
these duties perfectly, reducing the contents to ash in a very brief time.
Through an oversight, a record of the articles destroyed in it was
not kept. This oversight has now been corrected and in future reports
a return will be given.
It may, however, be said that, owing to the more efficient means
employed to disinfect bedding, &c., many articles that previously would
have been destroyed were now saved and returned to their owners, and