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

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Port of London 1909

Report for the year ended 31st December 1909 of the Medical Officer of Health for the Port of London

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Fumigating Regulations.
(2) The Master or Owner of any vessel arriving in any port in Australia
from any place proclaimed infected with Plague, or at a place from or
through which Plague may he brought or carried, under section 12 of the
Quarantine Act, shall—
(a) Produce to the Quarantine Officer a certificate showing that an
efficient fumigation of such vessel, while empty, had been carried out
prior to departure. Such certificate, in the case of an oversea vessel, must
(if the port of departure be within the British Dominions) be signed by the
health officer of the port; or, when such port is a foreign port, by the
British Consul. In the case of an Inter-State vessel, the certificate must
be signed by a quarantine officer. In the absence of such certificate, the
quarantine officer may-require her cargo to be discharged in the stream.
Efficient fumigation in this Regulation shall mean fumigation as specified
in Regulation 44.
Specified Processes for the Destruction of Rats and Mice and of
Insects and other Vermin.
44 (a) Thorough sulphur fumigation as prescribed of all rat or mice or
insect or other vermin-infested places after complete closure of all
(b) Sulphur fumigation shall be effected by passing sulphur fumes
into the vessel under pressure, and at the same time exhausting the
air in the parts of the vessel under fumigation, and shall be continued
until all parts of the vessel under fumigation are filled with a gaseous
mixture of a strength of not less than.three per cent, of sulphur oxides,
and are kept so filled for at least eight hours.
Vessels trading from London to ports in the Commonwealth of Australia
may call at ports where plague exists, and under these Regulations the
Federal Government have the power to require, in the absence of a certificate
stating that such a vessel had been fumigated in London prior to departure,
her cargo to be discharged in the stream. This might occasion considerable
delay and consequent expense.
I have had enquiries from shipowners in London respecting the possibility
of the fumigation being performed in London, and should it be required, the
Port Sanitary Authority can now perform efficient fumigation within the
meaning of the Federal Quarantine Act, with the aid of the fumigating plant
purchased and installed during the year.
There has been a marked diminution in the number of cases of Plague in
India during the past year, but a large number of deaths have occurred from
this disease. It continues, however, to be pandemic. Cases have occurred in

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